Handing out the first-half awards

  • GM 18
  • W 3
  • L 8
  • BB 60
  • K 88
  • ERA 4.52

It seemed like such a beautiful story back in February, when Ubaldo Jimenez rolled into the Orioles' camp, delighted owner of a new four-year, $50 million contract. He was thrilled to be an Oriole. His new bosses were thrilled about what a likable fellow he seemed to be. His mother was moving to Baltimore to cook for him. His team needed a top-of-the-rotation arm. It couldn't have lined up more perfectly for him. But in retrospect, maybe he and Buck Showalter weren't a match made in baseball heaven after all. The manager is a big fan of a concept we like to refer to as "strikes." Jimenez, on the other hand, arrived in Baltimore with the second-worst career walk rate of any active pitcher who had toiled as many innings as he had (trailing only Jamey Wright). And let's just say nothing has changed. Guess who has issued the most walks (60 in 99.2 innings) of any pitcher in baseball this season? Yup. And it's led to another frustrating year in the life of Jimenez: 3-8 with a 4.52 ERA and the third-highest WHIP (1.54) among the 95 pitchers who qualify for the ERA title -- ahead of just two pitchers who are now on the disabled list ( Ricky Nolasco and Justin Masterson). The good news: Jimenez did have an attractive 1.82 ERA after the All-Star break last year for the Indians. The bad news: It isn't last year anymore.

Cys of relief for: Ricky Nolasco, Clay Buchholz, Ernesto Frieri.

NL Rookie: Billy Hamilton, Reds

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