Friday, June 18, 2010

This just in: Ubaldo Jimenez is GOOD

Thursday afternoon, Ubaldo Jimenez (pictured) allowed one run to the Twins in eight innings. This slightly lowered his ERA to 1.15 from its previously lofty 1.16.

Jimenez's on-base percentage allowed is a sparce .272. What's more, it's effectively better than that because he's so efficient at removing those runners once they reach base.

On Thursday, for example, he

  • got Danny Valencia to ground into a double play in the second inning
  • got Denard Span to ground into a double play in the third inning
  • got Jason Kubel to ground into a double play in the fourth inning
  • picked Span off second base in the sixth inning
  • got Joe Mauer to line into a double play in the eighth inning.

It's a perfect storm of double plays; the Twins lead baseball in GIDP anyway, and nobody in baseball has enticed more double play grounders than Jimenez (14), this despite the fact that few men reach base against him. He's also gotten seven caught stealing (five successful steal attempts), so he's cutting off the running game as well.

And, despite pitching his home games at altitude, he's allowed just three home runs.

Is he a realistic threat to challenge Bob Gibson's 1.12 ERA of 1968? Probably not. His batting average on balls in play is exceedingly low; he is prone to walks; and Coors Field, humidor or not, is still Coors Field. And 2010, despite all the great pitching lines, is not 1968.

But Jimenez could allow 30 earned runs without recording an out and still have an ERA below 3. That's astounding.


  1. Great post but I think you mean 30 earned runs in that last paragraph.