The NL King is here to help you fantasy baseball nuts as you going forward toward that championship. If you're reading this, you're most likely in the hunt for the money. If you're not reading this, well, then I guess you're not reading this.
Anyway, this article is on my friend Ubaldo Jimenez, to help AL Only owners who are not familar with Ubaldo. I know Ubaldo's career very well as not only have I followed it being an NL Only guy but I have had Ubaldo on my team a couple of times in recent years. Back in early summer of 2007, the season did not go my way and being in a keeper league I rebuilt for the following season. In addition to trades, I tried to find a couple of young guys who could make an impact in 2008. That summer I picked up off our league waiver wire a young reliever on the Giants who threw hard named Brian Wilson. That worked out well. In addition I picked up a young starter with the Rockies named Ubaldo Jimenez. I read about Jimenez in Basball America and what was said at the time is Jimenez has nasty stuff but he has a lot of moving parts in his delivery and because of that early on in his career control will probably be an issue. While Ubaldo showed good signs of becoming a front of the rotation starter that summer in 2007, in 2008 Jimenez walked too many batters. Then in 2009 Jimenez cut his walks down by 18 while pitching 20 more innings. In fact in 2009 Jimenez finished with 15W, 3.47 ERA, 1.23 Ratio & 198K in 218 IP. I felt going into 2010 Jimenz could be on the verge to taking that big step and as we all know he did in a big way.
I traded for Jimenez in my league in the off-season thinking he had arrived to the big time. What happened this year from various things I have read is his off-season conditioning program could have been way better for starters. On top of that I believe the cut on his cuticle which bothered him all spring really hurt Jimenez in April and May. Jimenez was also a victim of poor run support this year as well. Before his nightmare one last inning before the trading deadline Jimenez had been pitching well the last a number of starts excluding his outing before against Arizona. My point being Jimenez numbers as of now are not as bad as they look.
Jimenez is throwing his fastball 93-94 this year instead of the 98 last year. What I can tell the AL Only owners is with the change of scenary, being in a pennant race, and being in Cleveland who has a good thing going with all those young players, I believe Jimenez will finish 2011 strong. I know he is going from the NL to the AL but keep in mind it's the AL Central. I wouldn't bet the farm but as a NL fantasy player who has followed Jimenez the last few years if you can land Jimenez in your league Pounce because I believe he will finish up strong.
NL King - C.Lizza