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.
In March, Major League Baseball agreed to pay minor league players $400 per week while the sport is shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. That provision is set to expire at the end of May. As Craig noted earlier, the Athletics will not be paying their minor leaguers starting on June 1.
Several teams are doing the right thing, continuing to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week through at least the end of June. Per The Athletic’s Levi Weaver and James Fegan, the Rangers and White Sox will each tack on another month of pay. The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reported earlier that the Padres will pay their players through the end of August. Craig also cited a Baseball America report from this morning, which mentioned that the Marlins will also pay their players through the end of August.
Frankly, if the Marlins can find a way to continue paying their minor league players, then every team should be able to do the same. The Marlins are widely believed to be the least profitable among the 30 major league clubs. Here’s hoping the rest of the league follows the Rangers’, White Sox’s, Padres’, and Marlins’ lead as opposed to the Athletics’.