Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Latest on Jimenez's job status
By Jason A. Churchill
Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez has struggled in his past two starts after going six strong in his first outing of the season. In his second and third start, Jimenez yielded 14 earned runs on nine hits in only six total innings, failing to get through the second inning in one start.
Despite the problems throwing strikes and commanding his pitches within the strike zone, Jimenez will not lose his job, skipper Terry Francona said last week. Francona says "it's only been a few starts," and "if we lost our patience with everybody after a few starts, we wouldn't have a team."
The Indians owe Jimenez just under $6 million guaranteed for 2013 plus at least a $1 million buyout for a team option for 2014, but it's a bit early to be considering releasing the former Cy Young contender. He's out of options, so if he continues to struggle the first move might be a transition to the bullpen. If it gets that far, the club has a few options to replace Jimenez in the rotation, starting with right-hander Trevor Bauer.
Jimenez went five innings Saturday, and while he allowed four earned runs, he walked just one batter and struck out four. It's not exactly what most would consider a good outing, but perhaps it's progress. Francona hasn't said anything definitive since Saturday's game, but it's worth noting the Indians have already dipped in their depth when Brett Myers was placed on the disabled list.