WFNY Stats & Info: Ubaldo Jimenez’s continued improvement

Resurgent Ubaldo Jimenez continued his strong performance of late with another quality start and victory in Tuesday night’s Indians win. He’s been an entirely new pitcher over the last four months, as the stats poignantly describe.

First 46 starts with Indians — 13-23, 5.63 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 4.6 BB/9, 59.1% strikes, .269 AVG
Last 23 starts since 4/29/13 —  10-7, 2.97 ERA, 9.1 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 61.4% strikes, .237 AVG

He has 10 quality starts and five shutout quality starts. As one might point out though, Jimenez has only pitched 130.1 innings during this span, a mark that ranks only 63rd in baseball despite his consistent health and the fact he pitched directly on each of these end days. Among these 63 pitchers however, his ERA ranks 12th and his average against ranks 19th, spectacular turnarounds from his previous marks over the past two seasons.

In his best career season, back in 2010, the now-29-year-old went 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA in 33 starts for the Colorado Rockies. He pitched 221.2 innings, struck out 214 batters, allowed an opponent OPS of .610 and finished third in National League Cy Young voting. But it’s notable to point out he had a 4.08 ERA and ever-increasing walk rates from June onward that year after a sensational start to the season.

Back in early June, when Jimenez’s hot pitching first started, I shared some research of the best starts of his Indians career. Overall, his improved play has been a gigantic reason why the Cleveland pitching staff is on the verge of historic records in 2013, as I shared in early August.

Now, the intriguing debate will be over his future in a Cleveland uniform. He has a $8 mutual option for 2014, not strictly a team option as some had previously reported. With the way he’s been pitching, like a risky but low-end No. 2, it might suddenly be valuable for the Indians to consider sticking with him for at least one more season. But will that be the best move for Jimenez? Who knows.

[Related: Indians 4, Orioles 3: On the Verge of Losing It]

  • woofersus

    I think if the Indians picked up the option he would too, given his stated distaste for changing scenery and the fact that it’s a pretty fair number. I don’t know what I think about what the Indians should do with him though. I’ve actually been a pretty big defender of him over the course of this year, but that was with the understanding that they were not going to pay him 8 million next season. Then again, they spent that much on Myers….

    I think the real question is whether they feel confident in our other options going into next year. Can they extend Masterson rather than just doing a one year deal for 2014 to avoid arbitration, and if not will they have to think about trading him next year? They have Kluber, McAllister, and Salazar as sure things for next year, and probably Masterson, assuming they can at least do a one year deal to avoid arbitration, but if they can’t do a long term deal they might have to think about trading him next year. And if Kazmir departs, suddenly you’re left to count on Carrasco and/or Bauer to rise to the occasion, and an $8 million option on Jiminez starts to look more attractive than signing a pitcher on the open market, because pitchers on the open market are very expensive, and it’s only a one year deal, so it buys more time for Bauer, Carrasco, and House.

  • mgbode

    big question on if he would accept the option: would we get the 1st round draft compensation if he leaves? if yes, then that could effectively damper his market value enough that he’d want to opt-in. if no, then someone would be willing to give him a multi-year $8mil/season contract.

    if you don’t think someone would, then remember we gave $7mil to Myers (yes, a 1yr deal for Brett, but Ubaldo has a much higher upside than a washed-out pitcher who cobbled together some decent innings as a RP).

  • mgbode

    2014 Rotation w/o Ubaldo

    Masterson
    Kluber
    McAllister
    Salazar (likely on innings limit)
    Bauer?Carrasco?Tomlin? Kazmir(re-sign)?

    It is absolutely amazing that I feel more confident (again) with Ubaldo in that rotation and then having Danny in the SP5 spot so we can manage his innings and also account for any possible injuries.

    How did we get here?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Ubaldo is pitching for his next contract never underestimate the power that $$$ has for an athlete!

  • Natedawg86

    2 year ext then :)

  • mgbode

    which “comeback pitcher” gets the bigger contract this offseason: Ubaldo, E.Santana, or F.Liriano?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Pfffft why not!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    It’ll have to be a team with tremendous intestinal fortitude and a big bank account because I’d be as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs with those three. If I must answer I’d probably rank them Santana, Liriano and Ubaldo. Santana over Liriano because of health.

  • mgbode

    just looking at what guys like Guthrie, McCarthy, Blanton, and, to a lesser extent, Dempster got last offseason. seems like a 2year deal for $7-12mil/season is about the going rate though Guthrie got 3 years.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Sounds reasonable it’ll be interesting to see what the Indians do with Ubaldo. Personally I think they’ll have enough options to cut him loose even though as we’ve seen one or two injuries and the rotation is weakened.

  • woofersus

    I had forgotten about Tomlin, and he could be a dark horse candidate. No doubt the Indians are hoping to learn a bit about what his potential is this month. The reality is that Bauer has suffered a lost season this year, and Carrasco just hasn’t been able to make good on his superior stuff. Tomlin’s ability post-surgery is still unknown, (and probably will be on an innings limit next season anyway) and right now we don’t know for sure if we can bring Kazmir back. It’s a weird position to be in, but while I think there are other pitchers who COULD be better than Jiminez, I agree he actually feels the least scary right now. I’d take Kazmir over him if I knew we had the choice, but that remains to be seen.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I turned Grilli and Jensen into closers two years before they became ones in MLB for some reason I keep envisioning Carrasco as a closer. He definitely should be in the bullpen though to start. Perhaps work his way to potential closer.

  • WFNYJacob

    On cue, as he was probably told to do, Mickey Calloway reiterated last night that Carlos Carrasco is set to be a starter again in 2014.

  • WFNYJacob

    Don’t know how compensation works with mutual options. I’d assume the same as all free agents.

  • woofersus

    Yeah, that could very well be. He’s tantalizing as a starter, because his stuff is so good, and he can throw mid nineties still after 100 pitches, but for whatever reason he hasn’t learned to use that to get major league hitters out. As a closer he can just reach back and blow it by them. I know it’s his first year back from Tommy John, but the clock is ticking. Given his numbers at AAA this year, I’d imagine he’ll be given a shot to impress them next spring, and if he doesn’t, he’ll start working single innings.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I hope they asked Calloway his opinion first but I think Carrasco as a starter is a mistake. Since he’s been in the bullpen I’ve liked what I’ve seen. I think there’s far more depth now for the SP then the bullpen too. I don’t know.

  • mgbode

    in Mickey we trust