On the 20-year ceremony of Tiger Stadium’s final game, we reflect on our admired Detroit Tigers memories from The Corner. Detroit Free Press, Detroit Free Press
CHICAGO — Joe Jimenez should accept been one of the Detroit Tigers’ bigger adventure lines.
For years, the right-hander had been clean-cut as the team’s afterpiece of the future.
It began in the accessory leagues, with stelar numbers arch to a accelerated acceleration through the system. He struggled in his amateur year, again parlayed an outstanding aboriginal bisected in 2018 into an AL All-Star appearance.
His numbers this year ability not advance he bigger much. In 65 appearances this season, Jimenez has acquaint a 4.30 ERA and a 1.330 WHIP with 81 strikeouts and 23 walks. In 68 appearances aftermost season, he acquaint a 4.31 ERA and a 1.197 WHIP with 78 strikeouts and 22 walks. But that would be blank the change in his role.
When the Tigers traded righty Shane Greene to the Atlanta Braves at the barter deadline, the afterpiece job was assuredly Jimenez’s. And in 18 appearances since, he’s done annihilation to lose authority of the job abutting season, announcement a 2.70 ERA and 1.440 WHIP over the final two months of 2019.
Detroit Tigers analgesic Joe Jimenez pitches in the ninth inning adjoin the New York Yankees at Comerica Park, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (Photo: Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY Sports)
“In some way, I was affectionate of acclimated to it,” Jimenez said. “Because throwing the eighth, it was affectionate of the aforementioned affair that you do in the ninth, aloof a altered inning.
“I acquainted adequate from the start, because I came from the accessory leagues and I was closing all of those years and I acquainted like it was article that was in me.”
Jimenez is 7-for-8 in save opportunities. In accession to the new job, Jimenez has accomplished a big change in his home run total; he accustomed aloof bristles homers aftermost year, and is at 12 accustomed this season. Of course, home runs are up all about baseball, and not aloof back Jimenez pitches.
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“To be honest, the numbers don’t say how acceptable or bad you are,” he said. “Sometimes, you accept abundant numbers but back you see a guy, you’re like, ‘How the heck, no way.’ So it’s catchy and I don’t pay absorption to that too much, because I feel acceptable now.
“It doesn’t amount how acceptable or bad my numbers are, it’s aloof article that’s an accustomed thing. You don’t anticipate too abundant about it, aloof go assignment adamantine day-by-day.”
But conceivably the bigger aberration amid this year and aftermost is the way that Jimenez —still aloof 24 years old — is finishing the season.
Last year, he struggled in the additional half, announcement a 7.78 ERA and 1.424 WHIP afterwards his All-Star appearance. Chalk that up to his aboriginal time activity through the rigors of a abounding big-league season.
This year, he has pitched abundant bigger bottomward the stretch: In higher-leverage situations, Jimenez hasn’t accustomed a run in eight innings this month, arresting out 11 batters.
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But as the afterpiece of an 112-loss team, Jimenez’s casework haven’t been bare often. He charcoal inconsistent and decumbent to authoritative poor angle selections, abnormally advanced in the count, but Jimenez has apparent himself to be up for the challenge.
“To be honest, I can’t booty abroad article from this season, aloof because we’re not winning,” Jimenez said. “I can’t say article aloof because it’s article that’s acceptable for me, because the team, we haven’t been winning.
“But overall, I aloof anticipation it was a appealing acceptable year. Obviously, I abstruse and obviously, this is a action for us. I acquainted acceptable all-embracing and I’ll booty that with me.”
Contact Anthony Fenech at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @anthonyfenech. Read added on the Detroit Tigers and assurance up for our Tigers newsletter.
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