You've seen it all in 2016: Ubaldo's getting the ball Wednesday in huge series -
Dan Connolly

You’ve seen it all in 2016: Ubaldo’s getting the ball Wednesday in huge series

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

You never could have imagined this scenario a month ago. Maybe even two weeks ago.

But Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday’s starter against the Boston Red Sox – previously listed as TBD – is expected to be Ubaldo Jimenez and not Yovani Gallardo.

Showalter said it just “falls appropriately.”

Take a moment to consider this.

Ubaldo Jimenez, the poster boy for bad contracts, the guy who nearly every Orioles fan wanted to tar and feather in April and May and June and July, is now being given the ball in the biggest home series of the season in September.

It’s a pretty remarkable turnaround – for much of this year, the storyline has been how to hide Jimenez on this roster because the club wasn’t going to eat the $20-million-plus owed through 2017.

But now the Orioles are choosing Jimenez over Gallardo in a big game.

Showalter hedged the news, saying he hadn’t confirmed it officially with pitching coach Dave Wallace. But “that’s where he is leaning.”

Jimenez is 2-1 with a 3.28 ERA in his last five starts since being promoted from the bullpen Aug. 25. His season ERA has dropped an entire run – from 6.94 to 5.94 — in that span.

This is not one of those instances in which Showalter is choosing the starter with the good numbers against a particular club. In his career, Jimenez is 2-5 with a 7.39 ERA versus the Red Sox. So this is clearly about Jimenez being the better option right now because he is pitching better overall.

Gallardo is 1-3 with a 9.77 ERA in his past four starts and he also has had little success against the Red Sox in his career, 2-2 with a 5.28 in six starts.

So, yes, you’ve seen it all this season. Jimenez, who has been up and down through much of his career, is up again, and the Orioles are riding it.

One other point of note today: Showalter announced that Steve Pearce will undergo surgery to repair tendons in his right arm Wednesday morning in New York City. It’s not Tommy John surgery, as Showalter said Sunday, and so Pearce should be able to return to baseball within four to six months, which means the pending free agent should be ready for spring training.

In other injury news, Showalter said O’Day (shoulder), Trumbo (back) and Miley (upper back) seemed to be pretty good Monday after playing in Sunday’s game.

Showalter was non-committal on whether Miley, who left before the fifth inning Sunday with a mild upper back strain, will start this weekend against the Arizona Diamondbacks, his former team.  



  1. Bancells Moustache

    September 19, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    I, for one, am resigned to the fact that by Friday morning I will be unemployed, drunk and living in some sort of shanty by the railroad tracks in Pigtown. Just the notion of Ubaldo Jimenez as the best possible option is horrifically upsetting and I have already begun my descent into a cheap bourbon swilling, grabasstic trainwreck of a man. If Ubaldo Jimenez throws three perfect games to win the World Series, I might begin to trust him. Until that time, look for me this weekend, shambling to and fro on MLK Blvd and toss me a couple quarters if you can spare them.

  2. bigdaddydk

    September 21, 2016 at 8:17 am

    I guess it’s just a sad reality that I find myself in agreement with Buck that Ubaldo Jimenez is the best option here. Given the alternative, particularly when recent history is considered, this one appears to be a no-brainer. Ubaldo has not only lowered his ERA, he’s also made adjustments that have had a profound impact on his control. His walks/9 are way down since he’s come back into the rotation, meaning that even when he’s given up the long ball it hasn’t been devastating. He’s still touch and go in the first inning, but even that’s improved a bit. So, while I’d much prefer that the O’s have another time-proven quality arm in a big game, I’ll take what I can get and hope that Jimenez continues his recent successes.

    On a side note, I have to commend him on his attitude throughout. While there are other pitchers who would throw tantrums and sulk, Ubaldo has been the consummate teammate and he’s worked on getting his act together to get back on the hill and contribute. He’s definitely made the most of this second (third, fourth, fifth?) chance. Here’s to a solid outing tonight and an O’s win to get back on the right track.

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