BALTIMORE -- Struggling Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez was informed on Tuesday that he will be in the bullpen for the foreseeable future.Jimenez, who recorded just one out and was tagged with five earned runs in Toronto on Sunday, will get one more day off and be available in relief starting
BALTIMORE -- Struggling Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez was informed on Tuesday that he will be in the bullpen for the foreseeable future.
Jimenez, who recorded just one out and was tagged with five earned runs in Toronto on Sunday, will get one more day off and be available in relief starting on Wednesday. He is 3-7 with a 6.89 ERA in 13 starts, after going 12-10 with a 4.11 ERA in 32 games last year.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter talked to Jimenez prior to Tuesday's game against the Red Sox and said the talk went as well as could be expected.
"Ubaldo knows. He's responded well. I think we had to do it one other time [in 2014] and he responded well," Showalter said of putting Jimenez in the 'pen to figure things out. "He's a guy that might have been our best starting pitcher last year. We just reached a point where we kept waiting and waiting for him to find his stride. Looking for another way to possibly get him back in line because we need what he's capable of bringing as a starter.
"Hoping this gives him a little chance to back off. He understands, he wants to contribute. It's frustrating for him and we are frustrated for him because it's keep trying to figure out what we are missing. Hopefully, this can be good in the long run."
Jimenez was removed from the rotation in '14 due to poor performance after going 7-13 with a 4.83 ERA. After missing about a month with an ankle injury in July, he made two starts in his return before he was moved to the bullpen in favor of Kevin Gausman. Jimenez, left off the postseason roster that year, was able to piece together a few solid outings in September before his season ended, finishing 6-9 with a 4.81 ERA in 25 games (22 starts).
In the third year of a four-year, $50 million deal, Jimenez is 21-26 with a 4.81 ERA since joining the Orioles. His rotation spot will be taken by Yovani Gallardo, who made his third and final rehab start on Monday and will start Saturday's game at home against the Blue Jays.
Gallardo has been sidelined with biceps tendinitis and Showalter said he lost about 10 pounds during the time he was on the disabled list.
"I think I took advantage of that, time being out, just to make sure that I was ready, make sure I was prepared whenever I have that first start back," Gallardo said. "Those guys in the training room and the weight room, took a lot of hard work to get where I am right now. I'm excited, overall, I feel good. My arm feels great, 100 percent. I just can't wait."
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.