On Sunday afternoon, Orioles fans saw a pitching performance from Ubaldo Jimenez that has become way too common. Ubaldo stumbled through 5 2/3 innings giving up 6 runs and walking 3 batters, this past start has skyrocketed his earned run average (ERA) to 6.04 in 50 2/3 innings this season. Right now the Orioles are paying Ubaldo Jimenez $13 million to sport one of the worst ERA in all of baseball. The morning of May 23rd, while I was listening to 105.7 the Fan’s Steve Davis and Ed Norris interview MASN’s Dave Johnson about Ubaldo’s struggles. Dave Johnson summed up Ubaldo perfectly, “consistently, inconsistent”. The Orioles have a tough decision to make, with Yovani Gallardo about to come off of the disabled list, who is being paid $9 million this season, and Tyler Wilson and Mike Wright are actually doing okay, either Mike Wright or Ubaldo Jimenez will be sent to the bullpen when Gallardo returns. In Ubaldo Jimenez’s last three starts he has given up at least five runs a game, and for player that you are paying $13 million a year, that is unacceptable. If the Orioles options are to either release him, stick him in the bullpen, or leave in the rotation and try figure this whole thing out, then in my opinion I think the Orioles need to bite the bullet and release Jimenez. The Orioles would be on the hook for $26 million over the next two seasons and if the Orioles were to release him they would get the same amount of production from Jimenez even if he wasn’t on the roster. This is probably the least likely scenario for the Orioles because they know Jimenez’s potential, but is the risk greater than the reward? Hopefully for the Orioles Jimenez can become semi-reliable pitcher and have a sub 4.00 ERA for the season.
Jimenez is on track to start again May 28th against the Cleveland Indians.