Exploring the Arsenal – Ubaldo Jimenez

Exploring the Arsenal will run prior to each game, providing you with a brief scouting report on the starting pitcher expected to oppose the Pirates. The chart below shows the horizontal and vertical movement of every pitch thrown by that particular pitcher in 2012. This chart is from the catcher’s point of view. For a general guide to pitch types for a right-handed pitcher, please check out this image created by Sons of Sam Horn. Graphs are courtesy of Brooks Baseball and The Hardball Times , unless otherwise specified.

Pitch Types  
FA: Four-Seam Fastball FT: Two-Seam Fastball FC: Cutter
CU: Curveball SL: Slider CH: Changeup
FS: Splitter SI: Sinker


Saturday, 4:05 PM – Ubaldo Jimenez

Jimenez has a funky arm action in his delivery, which makes it difficult for him to repeat his mechanics. He drops his throwing arm sharply downward after initially separating his hands during his windup (see clip below). This makes it difficult for opposing hitters to pick up the ball, but also leads to erratic command and stuff. During his breakout 2010 season, Jimenez sat comfortably at 95-98 MPH and occasionally touched triple digits. However, his velocity has dropped dramatically in the past two seasons, and he now throws around 92-94 MPH for the most part. He has a live four-seam fastball and a two-seamer with good arm-side run.

Jimenez has a pretty diverse repertoire. His main secondary offering is a low 80’s slider, which he goes to fairly often against right-handed batters. The slider has been a good swing-and-miss pitch for him in the past, but he has struggled to miss bats with it so far this season. He also throws an upper 70’s curveball that is much less effective than his slider. Jimenez throws two different off-speed pitches, a mid 80’s splitter and a mid 80’s circle change. Both pitches have pretty similar velocity and movement, and he uses both mostly against lefties.

Jimenez has really struggled to miss bats this year. His fastball, which has been a deadly pitch for him in the past, has a well below average whiff rate in 2012. In addition, he has not been able to generate many ground balls with his sinking two-seamer. The splitter, which he only throws about 10% of the time, is the only pitch that has been very effective for him in 2012.

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Matt Bandi

Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.

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