Orioles pregame notes: Delayed start today, Jimenez to start Tuesday and more

September 13, 2014|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

The start of today's Orioles game against the New York Yankees has been pushed back to an estimated 1:40 p.m. because of rain.

Scattered showers are forecast throughout the day.

Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez will fill the Orioles’ open starting slot on Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays, manager Buck Showalter announced before Saturday’s game.

Following Friday’s doubleheader against the Yankees, the Oriole needed a starter for Tuesday and selected Jimenez over left-handed relievers T.J. McFarland and Joe Saunders.

“We feel like it disrupts our bullpen the least. We think that he’s the most equipped lengthwise,” Showalter said. “We feel like he’s better equipped to pitch that part than say behind Mac or Joe. Also, we think he’s our best option to win the game. Obviously we knew we were going to need a pitcher there.”

Jimenez pitched a simulated game between games of Friday’s doubleheader, but he hasn’t pitched in a game since Aug. 31, when four of five batters he faced reached base in the ninth inning of a 12-8 win over the Twins.

He hasn’t started a game in nearly a month. His last start came on Aug. 16 at Cleveland, when he allowed six runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings in a 9-4 loss to the Indians. Days later, Jimenez was demoted to the bullpen.

“He’s not happy about it, make no mistake about it. He wants to be contributing and he has this year. He has. We were at that time of the season when we had six guys and it was more beneficial for them to pitch every fifth day and more beneficial for our team. He’s handled it as well [as possible]. He’s been a good teammate.”

Jimenez is 2-3 with a 4.89 ERA in seven career starts against the Blue Jays. In his last appearance against Toronto, he recorded a quality start despite issuing five walks, allowing two runs on three hits over six innings on June 13.

“The thing is he’s healthy,” Showalter said. “He knows it’s there and that’s why it’s frustrating for him. He knows it’s there. And it’s frustrating for us because we can’t seem to get to it consistently. And the command’s been the issue – the walks, the extra baserunners – which creates a bad tempo to the game, which creates a tough offense for us. You’re on the field, there’s never an on or off.

“You look at our pitchers, who would you say works slow and lethargically?” Showalter said. “It’s somewhat by design? It works for everybody. Whatever’s best. It’s not just working fast. You’re just trying to work efficiently. He’s tried to but he’s done a better job holding runners. It gets away from him sometimes and he goes back to being slow again. This guy was one of the best pitchers in the game at one time and hopefully will be again.”

Jimenez appears to be a longshot for the postseason rotation, but Showalter wouldn’t rule him out, especially if he pitches well on Tuesday.

“He pitches seven innings shutout and he’s on the playoff roster pitching in Game 1? I don’t know,” Showalter said. “This games about pitching, hitting and going with the hot guys. Who gets hot at the right time of the year. I wouldn’t preclude anything.”

Even though he likely won't be on the postseason roster, the Orioles is signed for the next three seasons -- he signed a four-year, $50-million deal in February -- so the club will also take the opportunity to give Jimenez the opportunity to build on something positive going into next season.    

Also of note:

-- Right-hander Bud Norris will start Wednesday’s series finale against the Blue Jays and right-hander Kevin Gausman will start Friday’s series opener against the Red Sox following the club’s off day.

Norris is 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA against the Blue Jays this season. Gausman is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five games (two starts) in his career against the Red Sox. Gausman is 3-3 with a 4.71 ERA when receiving six or more days rest.

-- Showalter said he doesn’t plan on brining up an extra infielder from the taxi squad currently working out in Sarasota unless that player is going to play regularly this month, will likely make the big league club next season or needed to be placed on the roster in the offseason.

So despite Chris Davis’ suspension, first baseman Christian Walker, the Orioles’ minor league player of the year, likely won’t join the team because he doesn’t need to be placed on the 40-man roster this offseason to protect him in the offseason Rule 5 draft.

“A guy like, for instance, Christian Walker who's not eligible to be Rule 5 this off-season, so no reason to jump that unless you're going to play him every day and you know he's going to be on your team next year,” Showalter said. “I don't think we're there yet.”

“Unless I'm going to play them every day or mostly every day, or if I know they're going  to be on our team next year, then you're really doing something that's not very smart. We're probably another, I don't want to say injury or challenge, then we'd probably go there."

Here are today’s starting lineups:

Orioles
Nick Markakis RF
Alejandro De Aza LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Steve Pearce 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
Jimmy Paredes 3B
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Caleb Joseph C
Miguel Gonzalez RHP

Yankees
Jacoby Ellsbury DH
Derek Jeter SS
Brett Gardner CF
Martin Prado 2B
Brian McCann C
Mark Teixeira 1B
Chris Young LF
Antoan Richardson RF
Zealous Wheeler 3B
Shane Greene RHP

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.