Ubaldo Jimenez is 13 starts into a four-year, $50 million deal with the Orioles and things aren’t going well at all.
Jimenez failed to make it out of the third inning Sunday on the way to his league-leading seventh loss of the season, dropping him to 2-7 with a 5.01 ERA overall. In addition to the league-high loss total he also leads the league in walks with 40, handing out 5.1 free passes per nine innings for what would be the highest rate of his already control-challenged career.
Jimenez was also awful for the Indians in 2012, going 9-17 with a 5.40 ERA, so he picked a helluva time to put together a strong season in 2013 before hitting the open market as a free agent. Although, in fairness to the Orioles, a $50 million investment in a free agent starting pitcher is hardly franchise-wrecking and in general the market for Jimenez was lower than many people expected.
He’s owed $12.25 million in 2015, $13 million in 2016, and $13.5 million in 2017.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.