Jimenez takes move to bullpen in stride

May 28th, 2017
Ubaldo Jimenez had a 7.17 ERA in nine appearances this season, prompting a change in the Orioles' starting rotation. (AP)

HOUSTON -- has been lit up this season for a 7.17 ERA, and the Orioles right-hander says it has nothing to do with mechanics or tipping off pitches. That may not be a good thing for Jimenez, who on Friday was moved out of the rotation into a relief role.

"I don't think my mechanics are bad," Jimenez said Saturday. "I was just getting hit. That's pretty much what happened."

In 42 2/3 innings over eight starts and one relief appearance, Jimenez has given up 35 runs (34 earned) and 48 hits.

"You almost would rather it be mechanical," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "The consistency of his command has been a challenge. I could break down some things that he does a little unconventionally, but they've worked for him at times. Sometimes it's mental and emotional too.

"You got to get where you're waiting for something good to happen instead of the other way around. When you're making good pitchers and they're getting hit, that can kind of be on your mind a little bit."

It's not the first time in his career that Jimenez has been moved from the rotation to the bullpen.

"In the [times] before, I didn't even have time to work on things," Jimenez said. "When I got back [to starting], I was able to do what I was supposed to do, but in the bullpen you have less time to work on things than when you are starting.

"When you are starting, you know what you are supposed to do each day. In the bullpen you have to be ready to pitch at any given time."

Showalter had a discussion with Jimenez and explained the reasoning for the change.

"They just explained that they have to find a way to have someone that can do obviously better," Jimenez said. "In baseball, sometimes you go through tough times and you don't know why. That's why I never put my head down. Things change. It's part of baseball, you're going to have good times, you're going to have bad times. You have to keep your head up and keep moving forward.

"I was making bad pitches. Sometimes I started the game real good, and then in the fifth inning I just gave up couple of homers with runners on base."