Just in case you needed reasons to cut bait and run away from ownership of Ubaldo Jimenez, let’s take a look and see what I recommend running away from him as quickly as possible:
65 Strikeouts (6.62 K/9)
53 Walks (5.40 BB/9)
73.7% Strand Rate
There are numerous points that should tell you that Jimenez is a bad risk at this point in the season. First of all the strikeout rate, which is down significantly from his 8.05 career mark. Part of the problem is his decreased fastball velocity, which is down another tick from last season’s drop. After averaging 96.1 mph in ’10 he dropped to 93.5 mph in ’11 and is down yet again to 92.4 mph this season.
Second issue is clearly his control. From 2009-2011 he was able to post BB/9 between 3.50 and 3.75. This season he is walking the ballpark and, while he has done better in June (3.06 BB/9) what exactly makes us think he could maintain it? In his last two starts he has walked 8 batters in 12.2 IP, so the answer is nothing. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Jimenez to continue avoiding the walks.
If those were the only two issues we’d have concerns, but it’s possible that we could overlook them. However, the fact is that Jimenez is getting creamed to the tune of a 22.9% line drive rate.
As it is the BABIP is arguably on the lower side (though not unbelievable). When you couple it with his inflated line drive rate, however, you realize that he could actually get worse as time progresses.
You can’t even argue that he’s getting marginally better as the season has gone on:
- April – 22.1%
- May – 24.8%
- June – 21.2%
So, let’s recap. We have a pitcher with a significantly decreased strikeout rate, significantly worse control and is getting hit hard (though he’s been lucky on the balls put in play). Does this really sound like someone you want to invest in?
If you have him, I’d recommend trying to get rid of him. If someone is trying to shop him to you, don’t bother. While it’s not impossible that he gets things going there’s way too much risk to even consider taking.