Ubaldo Jimenez got hurt right around the time he was pitching himself out of Baltimore’s rotation, so the Orioles took their sweet time activating him from the disabled list and then demoted him to the bullpen.
But now the Orioles need a spot starter for Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays and they’ve decided on Jimenez, with manager Buck Showalter explaining to Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun that the choice was made because “we feel like it disrupts our bullpen the least.”
In other words, they’re hoping Jimenez can give them 5-6 innings rather than turning the start into a “bullpen game” that requires the use of a bunch of pitchers. And, because Jimenez has pitched just twice in the past month and zero times in September it won’t disrupt the bullpen hierarchy even a little bit.
Of course, not pitching at all for two weeks and not starting a game for a month means it’ll be tough to count on Jimenez not being a mess versus Toronto. He has a 4.96 ERA with 70 walks in 114 innings overall this season, immediately making the Orioles regret their four-year, $50 million investment.
The Padres are set to recall top infield prospect Luis Urías from Triple-A El Paso, according to a report from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. It’ll be the second such stint for the club’s no. 2 prospect, and one they hope to extend through the end of the season. A corresponding roster move will be announced later this weekend.
Urías, 22, struggled in his first promotion to the majors this April. Touted as “one of the Minors’ better pure hitters” with “innate bat-to-ball skills” and “plus on-base skills,” he found it difficult to adjust to big league pitching and slashed a lackluster .083/.241/.125 with just two hits and four walks over 11 games with the Padres.
Upon his return to Triple-A, however, the young middle infielder has delivered nothing short of spectacular results, batting .315/.398/.600 with 19 home runs, seven stolen bases (in nine chances), and a .998 OPS across 339 plate appearances. Given the additional measures he’s taken to improve his mechanics — something, Acee says, the Padres are far more interested in than his results at the plate — it seems he may be ready to handle the competition at the highest level on a long-term basis.
Urías is expected to be recalled in time for the Padres’ game against the Cubs on Saturday, where he’ll likely share the middle infield with fellow top prospect Fernando Tatís. The game is set for 2:20 PM EDT.