(SportsNetwork.com) – Baltimore right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez may have been the
worst free agent signing of the 2014 season. He’ll try to put that miserable
campaign behind him on Saturday when he takes the hill against the Toronto
Blue Jays at Camden Yards.
Jimenez signed a 4-year, $50 million deal prior to last season, but went 6-9
with a 4.81 ERA and was relegated to the bullpen toward the end of the season.
The thought was that he would again fill a relief role heading into this
season, but pitched to a 2.88 ERA this spring to earn the fifth spot in the
The 31-year-old hurler has faced the Blue Jays nine times (8 starts) and is
3-3 with a 4.63 ERA.
Toronto, meanwhile, will counter with prized prospect Aaron Sanchez, who will
be making his first major league start. The 22-year-old righty pitched out of
the bullpen for parts of season for the Blue Jays and was excellent, as he
recorded a 1.09 ERA over 33 frames.
“Going into spring training, we weren’t sure if he was going to be in the pen
or in the rotation,” manager John Gibbons said. “I think everybody wanted to
see him in the rotation but might have ended up in the ‘pen out of necessity.”
Toronto spoiled Baltimore’s home opener on Friday, as it jumped on the Orioles
early and cruised to a 12-5 win. On the strength of a four-run first and five-
run fourth, the Blue Jays won for the third time in four tries this season.
Josh Donaldson and Dioner Navarro each drove in three runs, while the Blue
Jays’ top three hitters, Jose Reyes, Dalton Pompey and Jose Bautista, combined
to reach base nine times and score seven runs.
Mark Buehrle (1-0) picked up the 200th win of his career, as he allowed two
runs and eight hits over six innings.
Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop both homered for the Orioles, but starter Bud
Norris (0-1) was rocked to the tune of eight runs and seven hits in just three
“He made some quality pitches, but he didn’t really sequence and wasn’t
consistent,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
The O’s went 11-8 last season versus the Blue Jays.