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May 11, 2012 4:40 am

Raising Aces: Where's Ubaldo?


Doug Thorburn

Wondering what happened to the Ubaldo Jimenez the Indians thought they were acquiring? Look no further than his disintegrating mechanics.

Ubaldo Jimenez is a fascinating example of how a pitcher performance can turn sour due to the influence of mechanics.

Ben Lindbergh recently noted the precipitous drop in Ubaldo's  fastball velocity, which has lost four full ticks since his 2010 breakout, averaging just under 93 mph so far this season. Never known for his control, the right-handed Jimenez has reached new heights with the free pass in 2012, handing out 6.3 walks per nine innings compared to a career rate of four walks per nine. His ground-ball percentage has also suffered a decline, dropping 10 percentage points from two years ago to contribute to a homer rate that is almost double his career average. All of his stats are trending in the wrong directions, with a career-low K rate and an AL-high 25 walks allowed over six starts.

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