Ubaldo Jimenez’s dreadful results with the Orioles this season (specifically over his past seven starts) may soon force the Orioles’ hand, writes MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko. Manager Buck Showalter declined to give an inkling of the team’s intentions with Jimenez, stating: “We have to look at other possibilities, but if we do something, he’s going to hear about it from us long before he reads about it.” As Kubatko points out, that type of sentiment from Showalter in the past has typically preceded a change, and the real question surrounding Jimenez is how drastic of a move the team will make. Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun wrote last night that a release isn’t likely given the remaining money on Jimenez’s four-year deal, but Kubatko hears differently, writing that the O’s are willing to cut bait in spite of the financial considerations. Jimenez is owed about $7.89MM through the end of the season and is earning $13.5MM in 2017 as well. He has a 6.89 ERA through 62 2/3 innings this season and has seen his once blistering fastball dip to an average of just 89.8 mph.
More from the American League…
- Former Braves setup ace Jonny Venters somewhat quietly returned to the mound after his third Tommy John surgery when he tossed a scoreless inning for the Rays’ Class-A Advanced affiliate earlier this month, as MLB.com’s Sam Blum writes. The Rays signed Venters to a two-year minor league contract last season, and the plan for him is to make about five appearances with Class-A Charlotte before being moved up to Triple-A Durham. If Venters, whose fastball touched 93 mph in his first appearance with the Stone Crabs, can show Major League caliber pitches and prove capable of throwing on back-to-back days, he could get a look with the big league club. Venters tells Blum that he doesn’t feel bad for himself whatsoever even after all of his arm woes, rather that he feels fortunate to have accomplished what he has in his career and to still have a chance. Blum also spoke to Venters’ former teammate Craig Kimbrel about the 31-year-old’s long journey back to the mound. “It shows a lot about who he is,” said Kimbrel. “He has some of the nastiest pitches, pure stuff in the game. … He’s giving everything he’s got. It’s special to be able to play this game, and he feels like he can still do it.” Venters, who has a career 2.23 ERA in 229 2/3 MLB innings, is looking to become the second pitcher to ever return from a third TJ operation, joining Jason Isringhausen.
- While Carlos Beltran is having a strong season and would love to remain with the Yankees beyond 2016, the team has yet to reach out to the free-agent-to-be about a new contract, reports Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com. Beltran has said he’d like to play for another two seasons beyond this one, Bloom adds. The 39-year-old slugger is hitting .277/.313/.554 with 16 homers on the season, placing him just three long balls shy of last season’s total of 19. As Bloom points out, Beltran’s excellent season is only further adding to a very legitimate Hall of Fame case; he ranks fourth among active players in WAR and reached a pair of notable milestones this season, belting his 400th homer and recording his 2500th hit (his 1500th RBI isn’t far off, either). Bloom spoke to both skippers who were present at Yankee Stadium this weekend — Joe Girardi and Brad Ausmus (a former teammate of Beltran) — and both said they think he’s already earned a spot in Cooperstown regardless of how the remainder of his career plays out.
- While the Red Sox are reportedly seeking both starters and relievers on the trade market, skipper John Farrell wouldn’t identify specific trade needs for his club when asked by WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. Instead, Farrell chose to focus his comments on a need to get his team’s best players healthy. Farrell specifically mentioned Brock Holt, who has yet to pass IMPACT testing to clear him to return from the concussion he is currently battling. Farrell also took the opportunity to praise the replacement for Holt (and Blake Swihart), Chris Young, for his contributions in the clubhouse and on the diamond. Meanwhile, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald tweeted yesterday that Farrell later added the hope for Holt is that he’ll be able to embark on a minor league rehab assignment this week.