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Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

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Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby dazindiansfanuk » Tue May 14, 2013 9:33 am

Interesting read from Fangraphs

Compared to his best season, in 2013 Jimenez has generated as many strikeouts. He’s thrown as many strikes, he’s generated as many grounders, and he’s actually worked ahead in the count a little more often. He hasn’t worked as deeply in games, and he hasn’t thrown his pitches at the same velocity, but if you want to be encouraged by 2013 Ubaldo Jimenez, doing so isn’t a stretch. There’s a lot of beauty beneath the less beautiful.


http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/just-how ... o-jimenez/

You can tell with the tone of the article that Sullivan still isn't convinced like the rest of us, but the deeper numbers are as encouraging as the direct results in his last few starts it would seem.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby skatingtripods » Tue May 14, 2013 10:29 am

I threw out a line to Kyle Boddy at Driveline Mechanics to see if he has noticed anything different with Ubaldo's mechanics.

His batting average against and BABIP are well below his career averages and it's hard to imagine that those numbers stay that good throughout the season, especially since he has returned to his ground ball inducing ways. The .230 mark is both an indication of inducing weak contact and a little bit of luck.

The advanced metrics, as Jeff mentions, tell a pretty optimistic story. I don't think he mentioned it in the article, but Jimenez's SIERA (skill-interactive ERA) is actually 3.96. That takes into account K, BB, and types of batted balls. His line drive rate is 7% lower than last season and his ground ball rate is up 11.1%. Obviously, less damage gets done on ground balls than fly balls. And, obviously, line drives are a bad thing.

I think a lot of people still have this misconception of Jimenez that he can return to dominance. He was only dominant for one three-month stretch in 2010. He was a ground ball machine who happened to strike out over eight batters per nine innings. Most ground ball guys aren't strike out pitchers, so that increased his value.

I'm not ready to say he's fixed yet. And it takes a lot more effort to get outs sitting 91-92 instead of 95-96. I think the biggest change in Ubaldo this year is throwing the two-seamer more. The data is inaccurate because of two-seamers wrongly classified as changeups earlier in the year, but he's pitching now instead of trying to throw it by everybody at 92.

Francona and Callaway had to break him down. He was clinging to what he was, a guy who could throw it by somebody at 96 if he needed to. When he reached back behind in the count to throw it by somebody, it got hit a mile because it was 91 and up. Now, he's trying to become a pitcher instead of a thrower. Sequencing. Changing speeds. Back to inducing ground balls.

I don't think any of us will be confident with him on the mound for quite some time and I shudder to think about him starting a crucial game in September or, God willing, the playoffs, but we're starting to see some confidence from Jimenez that we haven't seen his entire time in Cleveland and we may be seeing a transformation in his mental makeup that will allow him to be an effective starter.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby Kingpin74 » Tue May 14, 2013 10:46 am

Yeah let's not even think about him getting back to 2010 form. If he becomes/stays a reliable #3 starter, I'll be thrilled.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby pup » Tue May 14, 2013 3:33 pm

SEEMS to me his greatest strength of late has been pitching backwards. One of his fundamental problems is having to pitch ahead in the count to make his best pitch effective. Guys were laying off the 2 seamer early in the count because he can't throw it for strikes. So he has gone to getting ahead of hitters more often with get me over breaking stuff, creating an urgency for hitters to protect and chase his out pitches.

With his mechanics still a working nightmare, at some point this strategy is going to hit the shitter. Then who knows what will happen, but I doubt it is good.

The most remarkable part of these good starts is the lack of having to throw pitches from the stretch. Not sure if tracking that exists, but I would be interested to see what his splits are in each scenario and how much less often is he in the stretch over the last 3.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby Gradysmanldy » Tue May 14, 2013 3:57 pm

Ubaldo is a big bag of WTF.

Every start, I literally have zero clue from one moment to the next what is going to happen. Like an episode of breaking bad, but worse.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby WiscTribeFan » Tue May 14, 2013 4:23 pm

He's like Fausto Carmona without the falsified documents. Accept the good, prepare for the bad.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby skatingtripods » Tue May 14, 2013 4:44 pm

pup wrote:SEEMS to me his greatest strength of late has been pitching backwards. One of his fundamental problems is having to pitch ahead in the count to make his best pitch effective. Guys were laying off the 2 seamer early in the count because he can't throw it for strikes. So he has gone to getting ahead of hitters more often with get me over breaking stuff, creating an urgency for hitters to protect and chase his out pitches.

With his mechanics still a working nightmare, at some point this strategy is going to hit the shitter. Then who knows what will happen, but I doubt it is good.

The most remarkable part of these good starts is the lack of having to throw pitches from the stretch. Not sure if tracking that exists, but I would be interested to see what his splits are in each scenario and how much less often is he in the stretch over the last 3.


I could put that data together. Would just have to look at his splits with runners on in situations where he would pitch from the stretch. The data wouldn't account for times with a runner on when he wasn't pitching from the stretch (like, say, a guy like Giambi on first) but those situations have to be few and far between.

Also, I agree with your visual assessment. I'm sure the data is somewhere to back it up, though I don't know where.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby Prosecutor » Tue May 14, 2013 7:29 pm

Opposing batters are hitting .306 with runners on versus only .167 with the bases empty.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/player/splits/_/id/28625/ubaldo-jimenez

Pitching from the stretch is definitely his Achilles heel, but at least by getting more batters to hit the ball on the ground he's limiting the extra base hits, which means it takes three hits to get a run off him. Or two singles sandwiched around a stolen base.

The excellent speed in the outfield this year means more hits into the gaps are being cut off and held to singles, whereas last year they would have gotten past Damon, Duncan, Choo, et al. I think that's also helping Ubaldo and the rest of the staff.

It's interesting that he's getting just as many strikeouts as his best season despite losing several MPH off his fastball. Maybe he finally did give up the idea that he could blow hitters away for strike three and is using all his pitches in every count.

Or maybe speeding up his delivery improved his command. He's definitely throwing more strikes early in the count than the last couple of years, and I don't need to look at any numbers to tell you that.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby 1Perry » Wed May 15, 2013 4:20 pm

I don't think many expect him to pitch the rest of the season as he has the last few games but still 14 or 15 wins would be more than most expected out of him and a big boost to a good season.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby Prosecutor » Sat May 18, 2013 10:53 am

Last four starts Ubaldo has put up a 1.94 ERA with 29 K's.

Give Callaway a lifetime contract.

Indians manager Terry Francona, asked Friday afternoon about Callaway's contributions, said: "How much time do you have?"

Callaway's rotation has been better than anticipated, helping the Indians to a 22-17 record entering Friday night's game.

"He reminds me of a veteran, good major-league pitching coach," Francona said. "I'm thrilled with what he's done, is doing, and will continue to do."


Oh, and McAllister hasn't given up more than three runs in a start yet this year.

Oops, he's starting today.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby kman_holla8 » Sat May 18, 2013 2:08 pm

He is making $5.75 mil this year and scheduled to be FA next year. (I think we can agree offering him arbitration would be a mistake). I would comsider trading him unless he would agree to a 1 or 2 year extention around 5-6 mil with incentives for wins, maybe another one for 25 starts, and things of that nature. Let someone else overpay.

I hope to be buyers at the deadline, but Ubaldo is having a great year to really maximize his trade value.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby 1Perry » Sat May 18, 2013 3:30 pm

Prosecutor wrote:Last four starts Ubaldo has put up a 1.94 ERA with 29 K's.

Give Callaway a lifetime contract.

Indians manager Terry Francona, asked Friday afternoon about Callaway's contributions, said: "How much time do you have?"

Callaway's rotation has been better than anticipated, helping the Indians to a 22-17 record entering Friday night's game.

"He reminds me of a veteran, good major-league pitching coach," Francona said. "I'm thrilled with what he's done, is doing, and will continue to do."


Oh, and McAllister hasn't given up more than three runs in a start yet this year.

Oops, he's starting today.


Streak continued today.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby Prosecutor » Sat May 18, 2013 4:07 pm

kman_holla8 wrote:I hope to be buyers at the deadline, but Ubaldo is having a great year to really maximize his trade value.


Totally agree but what if they're battling for first place in the Central and Ubaldo is still pitching great?

Do they dare bring up Carrasco or Bauer and put them in the rotation in the heat of a pennant race?

Ubaldo has always said he likes it here. Callaway has him back on track. It seems to be a winning team now. Maybe he'd be open to signing on for a few more years.

Myers leaving will free up $7 million, plus another $6 million if Reynolds moves on. And if the Tribe can stay in contention all year there should be a boost in revenues through higher attendance. Maybe we could make Ubaldo a competitive offer, although if it came down to one or the other, I'd rather have Reynolds.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby Am I Here Again? » Sat May 18, 2013 4:25 pm

kman_holla8 wrote:He is making $5.75 mil this year and scheduled to be FA next year. (I think we can agree offering him arbitration would be a mistake). I would comsider trading him unless he would agree to a 1 or 2 year extention around 5-6 mil with incentives for wins, maybe another one for 25 starts, and things of that nature. Let someone else overpay.

I hope to be buyers at the deadline, but Ubaldo is having a great year to really maximize his trade value.


Unless Cots is wrong Tribe holds an $8M option on Ubaldo for next year. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compe ... d-indians/

If he continues to pitch the way he has lately, $8M will be a deal. If he returns to suck, it costs the Tribe $1M to let him walk.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby Prosecutor » Sat May 18, 2013 7:48 pm

Considering that Myers and his $7 million will be off the books, exercising that $8 million option on Ubaldo would be a no-brainer.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby dazindiansfanuk » Sat May 18, 2013 8:10 pm

Just to note, Jimenez has the option to void his 2014 option because he was traded in the middle of his deal. If he spins 15 more starts like his last 4/5, then he may do that looking for a multi-year deal.

Who would've thought we'd be having this discussion a month ago?
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby Am I Here Again? » Sun May 19, 2013 2:49 am

dazindiansfanuk wrote:Just to note, Jimenez has the option to void his 2014 option because he was traded in the middle of his deal. If he spins 15 more starts like his last 4/5, then he may do that looking for a multi-year deal.

Who would've thought we'd be having this discussion a month ago?


The entry on Cots reads: 2014 option only if 2013 option is exercised (may void 2014 if traded). The way I interpret it is 2014 gets voided if his 2013 option isn't picked up. Since we took the option for this year I thought he would stay with us. Maybe can void 2014 if we trade his this year? I dunno - not a lawyer.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby dazindiansfanuk » Sun May 19, 2013 5:59 am

Am I Here Again? wrote:
dazindiansfanuk wrote:Just to note, Jimenez has the option to void his 2014 option because he was traded in the middle of his deal. If he spins 15 more starts like his last 4/5, then he may do that looking for a multi-year deal.

Who would've thought we'd be having this discussion a month ago?


The entry on Cots reads: 2014 option only if 2013 option is exercised (may void 2014 if traded). The way I interpret it is 2014 gets voided if his 2013 option isn't picked up. Since we took the option for this year I thought he would stay with us. Maybe can void 2014 if we trade his this year? I dunno - not a lawyer.



- 4 years/$10M (2009-12), plus 2013-14 club options
- signed extension with Colorado 1/27/09
- 09:$0.75M, 10:$1.25M, 11:$2.8M, 12:$4.2M, 13:$5.75M club option ($1M buyout), 14:$8M club option ($1M buyout)
- 2014 option only if 2013 option is exercised (may void 2014 if traded)
- 2013 option increases to:
$6.75M with 2012 Cy Young
$6.25M with 2nd or 3rd place in 2013 Cy Young vote
- 2014 option increases to:
$9M with 2013 Cy Young or 450 IP in 2012-13
$8.5M with 2nd or 3rd place in 2013 Cy Young vote
- if traded, Jimenez may void 2014


Of course 2014 is voided if the 2013 isn't picked up but, picking up the 2013 option has no bearing on his right to void 2014..... he was traded during the deal so he can void 2014 if he wishes.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby Prosecutor » Sun May 19, 2013 6:48 am

Pluto says,

Some fans have asked about the contract situation of Ubaldo Jimenez. He and the Indians both have an option for 2014, meaning both would have to agree on the $8 million salary. That's doubtful, so odds are he will become a free agent.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby skatingtripods » Sun May 19, 2013 10:17 am

Prosecutor wrote:Considering that Myers and his $7 million will be off the books, exercising that $8 million option on Ubaldo would be a no-brainer.


Why?

I don't know if Kazmir will hold up long enough to be signed for next season, but I'd be shocked if Bauer wasn't in the 2014 Opening Day rotation. One of Carrasco/Kluber can put up the numbers Ubaldo will end up with this season, in all likelihood anyway.

Indians add $10.5M in the raises to Swisher and Bourn. That Myers money is already accounted for. Santana in line for a $3M raise, and likely Masterson as well in his final year of arbitration. Cabrera gets $3.5M more

Extra $20M in contract raises already. They'll probably try to re-sign Smith for two years as well. I can't see them keeping Ubaldo unless he pitches like this the rest of the way. And even then, they have internal options.
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Re: Just How Far Gone is Ubaldo Jimenez?

Unread postby kman_holla8 » Sun May 19, 2013 5:12 pm

He has had great stuff last 4/5 starts, but let not forget this dude has a 5.32era in a indians uniform. Wouldn't it be interisting to grab a pitching prospect and see what he can do in 2014 and 15 when our young pitchers have some more seasoning...Still tough to trade Ubaldo and not give the impression of punting a perfectly good season.Damned if you do damned if you don't.

Wouldn't want to give him Long-Term contract worth big bucks
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