Showalter on Jimenez “He’s better than that”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn’t ready to bury Ubaldo Jimenez after three starts.

Not even close.

Jimenez is 0-3 with a 7.31 ERA in 16 innings, with 23 hits, 10 walks and four home runs. He lasted only 5 1/3 innings today and was charged with five runs and 10 hits.

“His command,” Showalter said. “If you look at his, kind of, history, he gets better as the year goes on. He’s actually pitched competitively for us. He’s real close to keeping us there. A lot of it got compounded by ... (Mark) Buehrle’s the type of guy you don’t want to get behind on, because it really plays into his hand. With the change-up and, not overpowering, but he makes a living off of getting people, taking advantage of their aggressiveness. Getting behind like that ...

“Ubi had a shot there at getting through it 3-1 through six, keep us engaged, but it got away from us. He’s better than that.”

Showalter has to believe that Jimenez’s first win is right around the corner. That’s the mentality.

“I hope so,” Showalter said. “He had some challenges last year and came on real strong. You trust the person and the character. He’s in good standing where that’s concerned. He’ll keep fighting. He’ll work his way through it. He’s very close to giving us ... Zero and three is not always indicative of how he has pitched. Some cases it is, some cases it’s not.”

It’s not news that Jimenez can be streaky.

“I don’t like hearing guys, say, position players, when they talk about early-season history of not doing well and say, ‘My numbers will be there at the end of the year.’ You lose me at hello,” Showalter said. “I guarantee you, Ubi’s not thinking that way. He’s thinking every opportunity.

“To me, one of the big challenges for us is not being able to do more against Buehrle. We had some good at-bats off of him early. But like I said, once we got into that six-run range, 6-1, the approach to him really falls right into this hands.

“Ubaldo was very close getting us to, like I said, 3-1. But close doesn’t get it, right?”

Certainly not today.

Asked if he’s compelled to say something to Jimenez, Showalter replied, “I always say something to them. I always check their temperature over the course of a day. I will. I’ll think about it.

“He’s got the right mentality. He’s been through tough times before, but he wants it to end now. I guarantee you. I understand what the numbers say, but you guys have seen it. It’s very close to being some quality outings, but at this level and against this competition, close sometimes gets you in trouble.”

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