Orioles manager Buck Showalter announced after Tuesday’s game that Ubaldo Jimenez indeed will start Thursday at Target Field in the Orioles’ one-game road trip to Minnesota.
Jimenez, who is 5-9 with a 7.38 ERA in 18 games (17 starts), has not pitched since July 8, when he gave up five runs in a start that lasted 1 1/3 innings. He’s been in the bullpen since, but wasn’t used. On Saturday, he went on a three-day paternity leave to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.
The reason Jimenez is getting the start Thursday is twofold: Orioles manager Buck Showalter wants to give his other starters more rest. And Jimenez has been great in his career against the Twins (5-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 10 games) and particularly impressive at Target Field (4-1, 1.82 ERA in six games).
If you’re picking your spots for Jimenez, this is a good one.
Davis in ugly skid
We all know Chris Davis is streaky. Very high peaks and very low valleys.
He’s in Death Valley right now. Davis is hitless in his last 24 at-bats. He was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts Tuesday in the Orioles’ 6-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies. With runners on the corners and one out in the eighth, he struck out in what was one of the key at-bats of the game. He now has 135 strikeouts in 346 at-bats.
Showalter was asked if he would consider moving Davis in the order – he batted cleanup for the 68th time Tuesday and has only hit in the third, fourth and fifth spots this year – the way he did with Adam Jones when he was struggling earlier this year. The manager didn’t really answer the question; instead he simply backed his veteran.
“You see the walks that Chris (56) is still drawing. There’s still a whole lot of respect for the contact-to-damage ratio,” Showalter said. “He’ll get it going. It’s just been a period of time where he’s not able to contribute the way he’s capable of.”
Kim is back
Hyun Soo Kim came (right hamstring strain) off the disabled list Tuesday, was in the starting lineup and hit the second pitch he saw for a bloop single.
He admitted after the game he might have been a little anxious.
“In that first at-bat, I felt like I was a little over-aggressive because I just came back and maybe I got a little excited,” Kim said through interpreter Danny Lee. “I was definitely being too aggressive. But I felt good that I’m heading in the right direction. I’m trying to find the right mechanics to be in the ballgame again.”
He was 1-for-3 with a walk and, most important, said he had no discomfort at all.
Getting Kim back healthy and productive will be a big lift for the Orioles’ offense. – especially while Davis is struggling.