I have a confession to make. At the beginning of the year, I really didn’t have much of an idea of who Ubaldo Jimenez was and I certainly didn’t consider him one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball. After all, last year Jimenez was just 15-12 with a 3.47 ERA. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not that bad at all for a young pitcher, in fact it’s pretty good especially for a pitcher pitching at Coors Field, but he wasn’t in the conversation with some of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball. Well this year he is putting up video game-like numbers and may have taken the torch as not only the best pitcher in the National League, but as the best pitcher in the majors right now.
A couple of weeks ago people were probably having a conversation about who was better between guys like Tim Lincecum, Roy Halladay, Adam Wainwright, and even Chris Carpenter as some of the best pitchers in the National League. However, with the way Jimenez is dealing every time he takes the mound, I don’t think the argument can even be had anymore. Jimenez is 11-1, has already pitched a no-hitter this season, and he has an ERA under one in 12 starts. It’s only June now, but the 2010 NL Cy Young is his to lose.
Ubaldo Jimenez joined 104.3 the Fan in Denver with Alfred and D-Mac to talk about what he changed from last year to this year, how much more attention he is getting this year, and how he is dealing with more pressure every time he takes the mound.
On whether or not he feels more pressure when he takes the mound:
“No, for me, it’s the same. I don’t change for anything. Every five days I want to be out there and try to win the game for my team. I don’t put any more pressure on myself.”
On the amount of attention he is now receiving:
“Yeah, a lot more. I’m having a lot of fans. Everywhere I go, people are asking for me and they want my autograph. I have a lot of attention right now.”
On people saying one of the biggest reasons for his success is the movement on some of his pitches now:
“I don’t think it’s moving more. The thing is I know how to use it now. Before it moved the same, I just didn’t know how to use it. I just threw it right in the middle of the plate, but right now I have a pretty good idea of what to do with it in terms of locating it. That’s the only difference.”
On what he did different from last year to this year:
“I don’t think I did anything different. I went to mini-camp for about two weeks and I started playing winter ball in December. That’s what I had done in the last two years. I didn’t change anything. I wanted to pitch winter ball so I could get better at locating my fastball and that’s something that helped me this year.”
On how nice it is to have his family in Colorado now:
“Yeah, it’s like a home away from home. I have my family here and I’m just really comfortable. I don’t miss anything right now.”