One of the more interesting storylines of this young season for the Orioles has been the emergence of right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez.
You know the deal by now: The club signed him to a four-year, $50 million contract before the 2014 season, he was 6-9 with a 4.81 ERA and often didn't know where his pitches were going (77 walks in 125 1/3 innings).
This year, he has been repeating his mechanics and is 3-2 with a 2.41 ERA in six starts, walking 12 in 33 2/3 innings.
He was supposed to start Sunday, but has been pushed up a day because scheduled starter Bud Norris has been scratched with bronchitis. Because of Thursday's off-day, Jimenez will still be pitching on normal rest – so nothing that unusual is being asked of him.
But he is going to be facing a team that he has had zero success against.
In four starts versus the Los Angeles Angels in his career, he is 0-4 with a 6.12 ERA. He has allowed 28 hits, 10 walks and four homers in 25 innings pitched.
The nine current Angels that have faced Jimenez previously are a combined .357 with a .451 on-base percentage in 71 plate appearances.
Every game in 2015 is seemingly a test for Jimenez, who keeps passing them one by one. But Saturday might be a particularly difficult one if history is a guide.
One other thing on this: Norris has suffered through a particularly rough early season – he's 1-4 with a 9.88 ERA in six starts this season. But he has absolutely owned the Angels in his career, going 4-0 with a 0.43 ERA in six starts.
He still could pitch against them on Sunday if he is feeling better, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. But it's probably more likely it will be Chris Tillman. Although Showalter said Friday night that he also has considered rookie Mike Wright for that spot, that would be a pretty challenging debut – to go from Triple-A to facing Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.