Detroit Tigers: 2 reasons Joe Jiménez was optioned to Toledo to start 2021

(Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers‘ right-handed reliever Joe Jiménez has been optioned to Toledo to start the 2021 season. The former closer was informed that he did not make the roster to kick off the 2021 season, and he will begin the year in Toledo.

However, for anyone who was optioned to Toledo, this means that they will be stationed at the Detroit Tigers’ “alternate training site” to start the year, something that is returning from the COVID-19 rules from last season.

Jiménez was the organization’s closer to begin 2020, where he would ultimately get demoted and lose the job before the end of the 60-game sprint season. He did not do so good this Spring and ultimately will find himself at the alternate training site.

Jiménez is looking to find a role, and being demoted is not ideal for him, but there are a few reasons for it, that is for sure. After the struggles he has had, he is looking to get back on track, and it might mean that a reset was a necessary thing for Jiménez.

The Detroit Tigers have optioned Joe Jiménez to Toledo, and here are two reasons why:

Reason #1: After losing the closing job in 2020 he has regressed, and being optioned to the alternate training site is a way for Jiménez to figure things out.

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In 2020, Jiménez pitched in 25 games where he totaled 22.2 innings pitched, managing a 7.15 ERA, a 1.37 WHIP, and 22 punchouts for the Tigers. He would also allow 25 hits, issue six walks, and allow 18 earned runs.

He did notch five saves but would lose the closing job before the end of the 60-game season. Following that horrible performance, he would make six appearances, totaling 5.1 innings pitched, where he had a 5.06 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP.

Jiménez had given up three earned runs, and five total runs with six hits, three walks, one hit-by-pitch, and he gave up a big fly.

He has not been the same pitcher he was when he was an all-star in 2018, and his option to Toledo might help him get a chance to regroup and reset.

Reason #2: The Tigers optioned Jiménez to keep four left-handers in their bullpen to start the 2021 season.

The Tigers have finalized their roster, meaning they have their bullpen ironed out as well. They opted to keep four right-handed pitchers and four left-handed pitchers. They kept Bryan Garcia, Buck Farmer, Jose Cisnero, and Michael Fulmer as the bullpen’s right-handed crew.

For southpaws, the Tigers have Gregory Soto, Daniel Norris, Derek Holland, and Tyler Alexander holding things down. The organization opted to keep Derek Holland which frankly is a bit surprising. But it is just another reason to demote Jiménez and send him to Toledo.

With Holland making the squad and Cisnero earning a spot in the bullpen, Jiménez was the odd one out. However, after putrid performances in 2020 and this Spring, the demotion may not be all too much of a shock.

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The biggest question left to be asked is not why was Jiménez demoted or what were the reasons; rather, how will he bounce back?