Get the limb ready. I’m climbing on it. And it ain’t gonna look pretty if it cracks.
Ubaldo Jimenez is going to post a quality start tonight against the San Diego Padres.
There, I’ve said it and written it.
My reputation – hey, stop laughing – is on the line here.
I think Jimenez will go at least six innings and allow three earned runs or fewer. In fact, that’s almost exactly what I think he is going to do (I didn’t make up the quality start stat, and I’m not sure a 4.50 ERA per start is quality, but that’s an argument for another day.)
I also think he’ll get the win – his second since May 8.
Here’s my projected line for Ubaldo: 6 innings, 5 hits, 3 earned runs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, one homer, one wild pitch. And the W.
Is this just a cheap attempt at getting website hits?
No, or not really anyway.
So why would I predict that a guy with a 7.34 ERA, a guy who has allowed 10 runs in his last 2 2/3 innings, would pitch well after being ripped out of the rotation last week?
Because this is baseball. And unexpected things happen all the time. It’s what I love about it.
Besides, if you get to the majors leagues, you have to be a heck of a competitor. And to stick for as long as Jimenez has, the talent has to be there, too.
He also understands that this is a reprieve, that he is getting a chance to redeem himself, and it is human nature to step it up and produce your best. Same reason Mike Wright excelled in his “do-over” start against Kansas City after being sent to the minors.
And these are the Padres; they have some major league hitters, but are not exactly a juggernaut. He’s had success against them before; Jimenez is 7-4 with a 3.94 ERA versus San Diego in 13 career starts (nine quality starts).
Let’s be clear: I’m not advocating for Jimenez to be in the rotation. They needed to get him out, and he didn’t earn his way back in. However, I’ve advocated keeping him with the team for now, because his track record says he turns things around – every which way – during a long season. And eating roughly $21 million through next year is not palatable, especially if he ends up pitching well for someone else on the Orioles’ dime.
Anyway, I’m taking an educated guess here, mixed in with my voodoo belief in the baseball gods, who have a heck of a sense of humor.
So my guess is by the end of the night the Ubaldo mob has put its pitchforks on ice for a night.
And if I’m wrong — it’s happened before, ask my wife – leave at least part of the pitchfork open for yours truly.
Some other O’s notes:
Lefty Brian Duensing was placed on the 15-day disabled list with left elbow inflammation, which was caused by pieces of cartilage floating around his elbow. He’ll have surgery Friday to remove those chips and will be sidelined four to eight weeks. Duensing, who had a 5.40 ERA in seven games, said his goal is to be back with the Orioles by Aug. 1, which he has been told is attainable.
Duensing, 33, said he had been feeling fine, but then felt some discomfort during Monday’s game in Texas while he was watching from the bullpen.
“I was sitting in a chair, and I just kind of rolled over and felt something weird,” he said. “Next thing I know, it was swollen and I couldn’t move it.”
Tests were taken and the floating chips were found, causing the inflammation. Duensing had elbow ligament (Tommy John) surgery in 2004, but said he hasn’t had elbow trouble since.
Catcher Caleb Joseph likely will be able to catch Monday in a rehab assignment, his first action behind the plate since testicular surgery in May.
Reliever Vance Worley (right groin) threw a bullpen Tuesday and will throw another one Thursday. He is eligible to come off the DL Monday (the Orioles don’t have a game until Tuesday) and Showalter thinks Worley will be ready – though he’d like to get him one rehab outing first.
Showalter said the Orioles were not going to bring Wright back up again to pitch Wednesday after demoting him to the minors. The manager said he wants Wright to stay at Triple-A Norfolk and earn his way back instead of filling a need for the big-league club.
The Orioles list have listed Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman as the starters for Saturday’s doubleheader. That could change, but it looks like the 26th man that the Orioles recall for the day will be a reliever – perhaps T.J. McFarland.
Lefty Ashur Tolliver has been recalled to take Duensing’s place. It’s the rookie’s second stint with the Orioles. He had a 2.70 ERA in his first five games this year.