Ubaldo looking for success with simplified delivery
O's righty started working on keeping hands lower late last season
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Ubaldo Jimenez was among the Orioles pitchers who threw a bullpen session on Friday, and the right-hander is sticking with the simplified delivery he incorporated last year.
"My mechanics got so messed up. I was going way too far, and I was losing sight of home plate," Jimenez said of last year. "I mean, you are supposed to do that [overhead motion] and stay over. I was going way over, and I didn't know it. I didn't know it until they showed me."
Jimenez's hands are now lowered and staying there, a delivery that looks more like what Chris Tillman does. It's not a new delivery for Jimenez, as it was something he did in the Minor Leagues. He only added the motion to go over his head as a way to stay back on the rubber in his younger days.
The new delivery worked well for the final two months of the season, although it still wasn't enough for Jimenez to be on the team's American League Championship Series roster. Jimenez left the team during that time, which drew a lot of negative attention, though he said that it wasn't sour grapes.
"I had some business I had to take care of personally back in my country," said Jimenez, who returned to the Dominican Republic. "Everything is OK. It wasn't at that time."
"As a player, you are not going to be happy to not be on the roster, but as a player, I didn't take it that way," Jimenez said. "I didn't start anything, and I said 'OK, I wish them the best'. And I saw all the games. I made sure I kept myself ready in case they needed me after that."
So does Jimenez, who went 6-9 with a 4.81 ERA last year, think the O's and their fans have seen what he can do?
"Not even a little bit. They haven't," Jimenez said. "I cant wait [to show them]."
"As a player, you are trying to do the best. The season wasn't the one you wanted it to be, of course you aren't going to be happy. You know you have something that you have to prove."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Jimenez is very engaged this spring and that the quiet righty has "a little burn going" as he approaches the season.
"It's the delivery he's used before," Showalter said of the changes. "We aren't going to force something down his throat. It's got to be something he sees, he embraces. A lot of times, you are looking for a hook. Sometimes it's as much mental as it is physical. This is, I think, a little bit of both."