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« Top Curveballs by Contact | Main | Wakefield Throwing Strikes »

The struggles of Ubaldo Jimenez

At this point last season, Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies, was being compared to Bob Gibson. On May 23, 201, Ubaldo was 8-1 with 0.99 ERA. He finished the first half of the season 15-1 with a 2.20 ERA. His fastball was electric and his splitter could only be described as "nasty."

What a fifference a year makes. Following yesterday's loss to the Brewers, Jimenez is now 0-4 with a 5.44 ERA and we can graphically show you why. Control is clearly the issue for Ubaldo who had thrown 63.1 innings last season at this time and had walked 23 while this season he has 28 walks, but in just 44.2 innings. Equally as important is his absence of control in the strike zone.

Let's look at the fastball first.

Here is the fastball in the first half of 2010:

Look at his control and location. He clearly was nailing it, time and again.

Now let's look at the fastball from this season:

You can see the ball is drifting all over the place.

Now, look at Jimenez's splitter.

Look at the nastiness of the splitter in the first half of 2010:

That pitch, that looks like a fastball as it approaches the batter, drops off the table as it enters the zone resulting in swings and misses (34.3%).

Now look at the splitter this season:

Swings and misses are down to 21.7% because those higher pitches are much easier to hit and ptch is much easier to read.

The Rockies are now just a game over .500 and if they truly want to control in this division, Jimenez has got to get his control first.

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