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.
Indians starter Carlos Carrasco was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this summer. He’d been out since June. Despite that diagnosis, he and the Indians insisted that he would make every effort to come back this year. Yesterday he took a big step in that direction, making his first rehab appearance at Double-A Akron.
He only tossed one inning, walking one batter and striking out another. He thew 16 pitches but cranked it up to 97 with his first offering. Not too shabby.
It’s unclear what the timetable is for him returning to Cleveland. If they intend to use him as a starter again he’ll obviously need several more appearances to get stretched out. If he’s to be used as a reliever, fewer obviously. What his stamina level is and will be is also an open question.
However that gets sorted out, it’s good so have him back in action.