Ubaldo Jimenez was included on the Orioles’ roster for the ALDS, but never actually pitched against the Tigers. And now he’s been dropped from the ALCS roster in favor of left-hander Brian Matusz.
It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which manager Buck Showalter would use Jimenez in a game that wasn’t completely lopsided and with off days there isn’t really much need for a bullpen-saving mop-up man in the playoffs.
Who knows if Showalter will find a use for Matusz, but there’s at least some chance he’ll call on the 27-year-old southpaw to face a left-handed hitter in a spot that matters. Matusz had a 3.48 ERA this season and a 3.53 ERA last season, with good secondary numbers to match, whereas Jimenez had a 4.81 ERA with 5.5 walks per nine innings in the first season of a $50 million contract.
Last week there was a report that the San Diego Padres were doing “due diligence” on former Rangers manager and current Braves third base coach Ron Washington in connection with their managerial opening. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports today that Washington has already had an interview and that, in fact, the Padres are planning to call him back for a second round.
Also getting a second look: Rangers field coordinator Jayce Tingler. Which suggests that GM A.J. Preller, formerly a Rangers assistant GM, is favoring guys he knows from his time in Texas.
Washington managed the Texas Rangers from 2007 into 2014, winning two pennants and compiling a record of 664-611 (.521). He stepped down for personal reasons but since then has returned to the job in which he made his considerable reputation: coaching, specifically coaching infielders, and has gotten rave reviews. Assuming he’s back up for the grind of managing — and he wouldn’t be interviewing if he was not — he is definitely someone based on results and reputation who deserves another shot at the helm.
Tingler, a former Rangers farm hand, has coached in their organization at both the minor and major league levels for 12 years.