Detroit Tigers: “Closer of the future” Joe Jiménez should be out of chances

(Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)
(Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers brought in Joe Jiménez as an undrafted free agent, and he has spent the last five years on the Tigers roster. Now in 2021, he is struggling greatly, and frankly, it seems like his time in the big leagues might be running out.

At one point, he was deemed to be the “closer of the future” for the Detroit Tigers, but in 2021 it seems like he has just missed this opportunity. He has never evolved into that electric arm out of the bullpen that it seemed like he would be for the Tigers.

Jiménez has not had a great start in 2021 beyond the stat sheet. He was demoted and optioned to Triple-A out of training camp, and this was a crushing blow for the right-hander. But, with the struggles he has had, some time in the minors seemed like the best option.

On top of that, Jiménez was called up and struggled, leading to another demotion back to the minor leagues. Since the minor league season had started, he played for the Toledo Mud Hens until he was called back up, staying with the team since then.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Joe Jiménez is running out of time to get things right.

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In 2021, Jiménez has logged 4.2 innings of work over six games. He has a 17.36 ERA, a 2.79 WHIP, and has surrendered nine earned runs. He may have only allowed three hits, but he has issued ten walks.

Being able to find the strike zone is key, and Jiménez has struggled with that. Jiménez’s ERA north of 17 is just a bit of an issue.

The Tigers should be cutting bait with the relief arm. It has been long enough.

For a pitcher who was supposed to be the closer of the future and an electric arm for this pitching staff, it has been a little disappointing.

He may have been an all-star in 2018. but over five seasons and 168.2 innings of work, Jiménez has just seventeen saves to his credit.

The thing with Jiménez is that he can be super streaky. He has had stretches where he looks like he has things figured out, and then next thing you know, his ERA is creeping back up, and the runs are pouring in.

But lately, the good stretches have not been happening at all. If Jiménez continues to struggle, the Tigers need to figure out if it is worth keeping him on the big league roster. Another year with an ERA north of five is unacceptable, so even if he goes on a good run, a lot needs to change.

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It seems like Jiménez is running out of time, and he might just be out of chances.