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Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez working on more 'aggressive' mechanics

BOSTON — Since his last start a week ago, Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez has made several visits to the team’s video room, trying to figure out why he’s struggled in his first three starts as an Oriole.

A day after allowing five runs on 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings against the Toronto Blue Jays last Sunday, Jimenez broke down video of his performance with Orioles pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti. Leading up to his start tonight against the Boston Red Sox, they’ve continued to examine his delivery.

“I’ve been working on my mechanics and making my mechanics a little more aggressive toward home plate because I’m kind of slow going to home plate,” Jimenez, 30, said. “I’m not very aggressive. I’m kind of babying the ball instead of being aggressive. That’s something I’ve been working on.

“We saw it right away, what was wrong, and [we’re] trying to make it better,” Jimenez said. “I always watch video because I want my mechanics to be consistent. The last thing you want to do is be thinking of mechanics, but when everything is not working like it’s supposed to, you have to watch more to find a way why it’s not working.”

Jimenez, who signed a four-year, $50 million contract in February, is 0-3 with a 7.31 ERA through three starts with his new team. In his best start, he allowed four runs on five hits over six innings against Boston in the Orioles’ second game of the season.

“You know I’m not happy with the way everything started, but like in years past, I’m trying to do the best I can to get to wherever I’m supposed to be,” Jimenez said. “But I don’t put any more pressure on myself because I signed this contract. I know I’m going to get better. It’s just a matter of time before I put everything together.”

Jimenez opened last season 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA in his first three starts with the Cleveland Indians, but was 11-7 with a 2.74 ERA in his final 29 starts of the season.

With an unconventional delivery, Jimenez said it’s taken him extra time in the past to make his mechanics fluid early in the season.

“I wouldn’t say it’s tough to maintain it,” Jimenez said. “I would say it’s tough to get it going, to put everything together, to have a good rhythm, make all my pitches good. Yeah, it does [take time] because it’s not mechanics you’re going to see every day. It takes a little more time to put everything together.”

But after seeing some flaws in his mechanics and after refining his delivery in his bullpen session Friday, Jimenez said he believes things will start to turn around.

“I didn't start like I wanted to, but I know everything is going to change,” he said. “It’s a matter of me putting everything together. Finding my fastball and my breaking ball, combining my mechanics, and I get everything to click. So I don't have to think about mechanics. I know everything is going to click; it’s just a matter of time.

“I threw a bullpen and it was really good,” Jimenez added. “We made a lot of good progress, worked with the pitching coach and we made a lot of adjustments.”

Around the horn

Nelson Cruz drove in his 500th career RBI on his sixth-inning single off Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront on Saturday. Seven of Cruz’s 11 RBIs this season have come against Boston. After going 2-for-3 against Doubront, Cruz is 5-for-9 against left-handers this season. … With a 2-for-3 afternoon, Nick Markakis recorded his third straight multihit game. He is now 8-for-16 against Doubront. … The Orioles are 4-4 on the road after their 4-2 loss Saturday.

eencina@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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