Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez is heading to the 15-day disabled list with a right ankle injury, manager Buck Showalter announced before Friday’s game against the New York Yankees.
The club will recall right-hander Kevin Gausman from Triple-A Norfolk to take Jimenez’s place. Jimenez was slated to start Saturday’s game, but right-hander Chris Tillman likely will start now in Jimenez’s place on regular rest. Gausman likely will start for the Orioles in Sunday’s series finales.
Showalter said Jimenez, who was signed to a club-record four-year, $50 million deal in February, rolled his ankle stepping in a parking lot at his apartment complex Wednesday. Jimenez tried to throw Thursday in hopes that the ankle would be better Friday, but it was not.
“We were looking at it today. It is pretty puffy, taped up,” Showalter said. “He tried to take a work day yesterday. We are hoping that it would resolve somewhat today. Did not.
"He was real sore today," Showalter added. Head athletic trainer "Richie [Bancells] does a thing about X out of 10; it’s like an eight out of 10. He has a pretty significant ankle [injury] there."
Jimenez's first half with the Orioles has been a struggle. He is 3-8 with a 4.52 ERA and has won just one of his past five decisions. He's coming off the second-shortest start of the year, a 3 2/3-inning outing at Boston in which he allowed four runs on five hits and walked six Red Sox batters with four strikeouts.
Because the Orioles are calling up Gausman before he fulfilled his mandatory 10-day minors option window, which is allowed with a corresponding DL move, the club can’t backdate Jimenez to July 6, the date of his last appearance.
Instead, the club can backdate the move to Monday, when Gausman was optioned back to Norfolk. Jimenez would be eligible to return July 23, when the Orioles are in Anaheim to face the Angels.
“You can’t backdate it all the way to the day Jimenez pitched because if you bring back a guy within the 10 days, which we’re doing with Gausman, you don’t get the benefit of all-the-way backdating to the day he pitched,” Showalter said. “I think we are going to lose two days.”
Jimenez previously injured his right ankle at the end of his 2012 season with the Cleveland Indians. He was listed as day-to-day right a right ankle sprain from Sept. 23 to the end of the season, Oct. 4, but never went on the disabled list.
"I’m not going to get into exactly how he explained it," Showalter said of Jimenez's injury. "He had it in 2012. Only reason I asked him that is I wanted to know how quickly he healed if he had ever had something like this before. … He said he did it pitching. I think they shut him down last two starts [in Cleveland] in 2012."
This is the second time Jimenez has gone on the disabled list in his career. He also missed 16 games in April 2011 with a right thumb laceration.
Here are tonight’s starting lineups:
Nick Markakis RF
Steve Pearce DH
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz LF
Chris Davis 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
Manny Machado 3B
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Nick Hundley C
Miguel Gonzalez RHP
Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Brian Roberts 2B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Yangervis Solare 3B
Kelly Johnson DH
Hiroki Kuroda RHP