In his magical 2010 season, Jiménez recorded 19 wins (in 34 starts), a 2.88 ERA, a 7.5 WAR, and 214 strikeouts in 221 2/3 innings pitched. The Dominican also started the All-Star game for the National League that season, earning the nod ahead of guys named Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, and Adam Wainwright largely because he was 15-1 at the All-Star break. In the Midsummer Classic, he pitched two scoreless innings and helped the NL post a rare NL All-Star Game victory.
On April 17, 2010, in his third start of the season, Jiménez threw the Rockies’ first and only no-hitter in a 4-0 victory over the Braves at Turner Field. He struck out six Braves with many pitches hitting triple digits on the radar gun. Despite walking seven batters, he got out of jams with great defense. With the current Rockies fading out of the playoff race, treat yourself by watching this recap of the game courtesy of MLB.com.
Jiménez was attempting a valiant comeback this season, despite not pitching in the big leagues in 2018 or 2019. After playing in the Dominican Winter League in 2019 where he went 1-4 with a 3.03 ERA, 27 strikeouts, and 13 walks, Jiménez signed with the Rockies as a non-roster invitee to spring training. Unfortunately, spring training was a bust. Jiménez pitched three Cactus League games, and over 5 1/3 innings, he surrendered nine runs (although only five were earned) on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
When the 60-man rosters were announced on July 8, Jiménez didn’t make the cut. At the time, he said he was surprised and was not retiring. However, with limited roster spots on the Rockies and around the league, the 36-year-old right-hander decided to hang up his cleats.
Maybe in a non-2020 year, this comeback could have had a better chance for success. In a normal season, Jiménez could have seen time in Triple-A and worked on getting back to form. Not in 2020. Without a place to practice game situations, Jiménez was robbed of a chance that would have fallen in the long-shot category in the best of circumstances.
Also, it just doesn’t seem like that many comeback fairytales come true. This year, Daniel Bard has earned that title after not pitching for seven years, overcoming the yips, and becoming the best pitcher in the Rockies bullpen with a 3.60 ERA, 1.250 WHIP, 3-2 record, six saves, and 25 strikeouts in 20 innings.
Jiménez debuted with the Rockies in September of 2006, pitching 7 2/3 innings over two games. By the next season, he was a starter. He went 12-12 in 2008 and 15-12 in 2009 in setting the stage for his historic 2010 season. As a Rockie, Jiménez went 56-45 with a 3.66 ERA, a 1.284 WHIP, and 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
Jiménez is all over the Rockies’ career pitcher leaderboard. He owns the best WAR (18.9), the best ERA (3.66), and the lowest hits per nine innings (7.636). He’s tied for the most shutouts at three with Jason Jennings, second in strikeouts with 773, third in complete games with eight, and fifth in wins at 56. In the Purple Row Rockies Madness Tournament, Jiménez finished second in the pitching division behind Jorge De La Rosa.
We at Purple Row wish Jiménez the best and thank him for the unforgettable 2010 season he gave to the Rockies.
★ ★ ★
Remember when Dick Monfort predicted the Rockies would win 94 games? Bryan Kilpatrick does and wanted to just calculate what would translate to in a 60-game season. It would be 35 wins. The Rockies have 22 wins currently and 11 games left. Uh-oh.
Kilpatrick blames the Rockies offense for the lack of wins, noting that after finishing 24th in wRC+ (which measures the “value of each outcome” of each at-bat and factors in stadiums in a more all-encompassing offensive measurement against the league average) in 2019, the Rockies are now 28th this year at 79.
So, the offense is worse. Nolan Arenado’s slump continues. After a hot start, Charlie Blackmon has cooled down. Too many players are being left on base or aren’t making it there in the first place. The Rockies are 21st in the league with a .316 on-base percentage, 26th in the MLB with a .319 on-base percentage with runners in scoring position, and 27th with any runners on base on at .315.
The lack of production has wasted good starts by Kyle Freeland, Germán Márquez, and Antonio Senzatela. Even when the Rockies hitters have shown up, it’s often erased by a bullpen implosions. Both were the case in the Rockies 9-3 loss on Thursday night when three Colorado runs couldn’t overcome four given up by Freeland, but were then buried after Carlos Estévez surrendered four runs (three earned) and Wade Davis returned to action to immediately give up a home run in his first game coming of the IL.
With the trade for Kevin Pillar and David Dahl returning to the lineup, Sam Hilliard lost his chance after struggling offensively. The bullpen is permanently struggling, so why not bring up Jesus Tinoco?
The Rockies rotation severely needs a boost and it needs to come from Ryan Castellani and Chi Chi Gonzalez. The two are joining the rotation and starting Friday and Saturday nights, respectively. The rookie righty Castellani is 1-2 with a 4.46 ERA and struggled with command in his last outing, walking six, but only giving up one run in 5 2/3 innings in the Rockies 5-3 loss to the Angels. Gonzalez will be restricted to 75 pitches on Saturday while trying to rebound from his last start when he only recorded one out before being pulled out of the game. He walked the first three batters and hit another, helping set up a grand slam by Wil Myers in the 14-5 loss.
Whatever slim playoff hopes the Rockies are clinging to, looking to Castellani and Gonzalez doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.
★ ★ ★
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