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Ubaldo the great

Before the season, I said Ubaldo Jimenez could be a darkhorse pick for the NL Cy Young award. With Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay, Jimenez would have to have an exceptional season to top that duo and he has done it in emphatic fashion so far.

Jimenez threw a four-hitter in a 4-0 win over the Giants and Lincecum today to improve to 10-1. He walked two and struck out nine and has a scoreless streak of 26 innings. The righthander has a 0.78 ERA and 0.90 WHIP with a 70/26 K/BB ratio in 80 1/3 innings. He threw 128 pitches, which matches a season high that he threw in his no-hitter in April.

If you have read the blog, column and listened to the podcasts, you likely have Jimenez on your team. I was a big fan of drafting him this season, especially since you could get him as your No. 2 pitcher in most drafts.

I'm not going out on a limb by saying it will be difficult for him to maintain this pace. Zack Greinke got off to a similar start last season and finished with a 2.16 ERA, which is certainly excellent. Jimenez is no fluke. The fastball averages 96 mph and the slider averages 87 mph. He has excellent movement on his pitches and is very difficult to hit. He gets groundballs at a rate of 54 percent and has allowed one home run. Over the last two years, he surrendered just 24 home runs.

Jimenez has all the ingredients of an elite pitcher. If you own him, I wouldn't trade him, but I would explore and see what you can acquire for him. His stock is at an all-time high and if you're in a situation where you need help in multiple areas, you may need to fill those needs by dealing Jimenez. Again, I am a huge fan of his and I am not saying you should deal him. It doesn't hurt to find out what he can bring you back.


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