- If you haven't done so, please feel free to post your projection Justin Masterson. The results for the starting rotation will be compiled next week, so you still have some time to get your projections in for the players listed.
- There's a couple easy ways to get to those projections: first you can click on the link in the sidebar above, or you can click on the red Community Projections button at the top of this post.
When the Indians traded for Ubaldo Jimenez in July of 2011, he was one year removed from a 161 ERA+ campaign; in 2010, he struck out 214 batters in 221.2 innings, and allowed just 10 home runs while pitching roughly half his games at Coors field. He allowed just 6.7 hits per 9 innings, and averaged 6.2 innings per start. And 2010 wasn't much of a fluke, to that point in his career, his ERA+ was 133, he averaged 7.5 hits per 9 innings, and only 9 home runs per season.
If you take 2011-2012 together, here's what Ubaldo did:
So what happened to Ubaldo in 2011? And can he regain his pre-2011 excellence?
My guess is that Ubaldo's mechanics, which were always a bit complex, got away from him to the point where fixing them couldn't happen during the season. In what has been a recurring theme among pitchers on this staff, his stuff hadn't fallen off, but because he couldn't throw strikes, he struggled to get through each innings. So not only did he have one of the worst ERAs in the majors, he also averaged less than 6 innings per start, meaning that the Indians were often forced to bring in the seventh man in the bullpen to relieve him.
If this season is to have a happy ending, then Ubaldo Jimenez needs to be the pre-2011 Ubaldo. The potential is there, and a simplified windup is hopefully the key to fulfilling that potential.
ZiPS is still using his fantastic 2010 season, so it is predicted that his ERA remains solidly in the 4.00 range. But the hit rates are still high, and given the walk rates and low innings/start, it's not going to be a pretty 4.37 ERA.
A better strikeout rate, but everything else looks the same. Jimenez becomes a viable pitcher, but nothing near his former self.
Yes, I am predicting that Ubaldo is out of the rotation by the end of June. With him being a free agent at the end of the season and also with viable replacements in AAA, the Indians aren't going to keep him if he does a repeat of 2012; either he's much better and makes all his starts, or he's horrible again and is gone by the All-Star Break. I'm predicting the latter.
What do you think Ubaldo will do in 2013?