Reds big move so far to right the ship is the reduction of Jimenez , keeping with the 1997 theme we will note that this move mirrors a 1997 move somewhat.
May 9, 1997
Ruben Sierra released.
Back to Jimenez
Sometimes the reduction of a minor plus (and when all you can really boast about is your pitches per ab and vacillating OB% then yes it is somewhat minor) can help the team, IMO the reduction of DJ doesn’t doom an already doomed team.
He often played as if underwater and his progress and career path seemed tepid at best, out of the last 8 months as a Red he had an OPS above .760 only 3 times and the other 5 months were all below .720. That’s 464 ab’s of sub .720 OPS.
Two main factors live in the clubhouse, performance and being a part of the machine, jerks are generally accepted as long as the production merits it. Indifference and not being part of the team is frowned on from underperformers.
It looks to me like DJ’s performance couldn’t override the rest of his package. One thing I keep hearing is that his bat was coming around. However his track record shows that that generally is a 70 ab cycle and at best 100 bats. The Reds have decided that Jimenez’s 100 ab cycle isn’t worth the fringe benefits that he brings to the table. Pretty standard stuff in the history of the game, but jettisoning somebody loses its anonymity in the age of 6 figure contracts and often places a big ‘ole bullseye on the GM and managers chest.
True if they felt this way then they shouldn’t have inked him this winter, but then again perhaps he should not have come in 20 lbs too heavy (according to the Mets announcers the other day) True, if they felt this way then they should have flipped him instead of designated him, but you have to really ponder what the market is for him at this juncture.
Baseball is a team game awash in the mythos of hustle, character and fist pumping performance. If you look at DJ’s past and add his recent performance and the scuttlebutt around his last 2 departures together what you have is a player that has left a somewhat a sour taste around the game, he is officially Coconut, maybe loved by a few, abhorred by many others.
Moving him is probably not as easy as moving Freel would be.
This was obviously the straw that broke the camels back.
Jimenez, who had started 169 of the team’s 202 games dating back to the beginning of last season, rubbed some in the organization the wrong way when he was sent to the bench a few weeks ago. He complained about a lack of playing time and rarely participated in voluntary early batting practice sessions despite the difficulty he was having at the plate.
When you play for a manager who despite his work ethic never made it to the big leagues then I guess you better display one now and then.
But this stuff is not new to Jimenez.
From BP in 2003
There’s the more general question about whether it was worth dumping Jimenez so readily, but this would be his third worn-out welcome in pretty short order, helping to breathe new life into a whispering campaign that suddenly doesn’t make the New Age Birchers in San Diego look quite so unreformed in their Cro-Magnondom. D’Angelo Jimenez arrives with people in more than a few organizations grousing about him
Even more hazardous is the fallout that occurred on the rest of the Padres infield. D’Angelo Jimenez, who was coming off of a solid rookie campaign as the Padres shortstop and who opened this season at second base, slumped early. After spending some time covering third base, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox for two minor leaguers of little consequence. Jimenez was a disappointment at the plate, hitting .240/.311/.327 with just four stolen bases. He struggled defensively as well, causing the Padres to sour on him.
FWIW here’s a thread from a chat board when the Padres traded him.
Brian first met the greatest game in Detroit in 1968, that team played in a league called the “American League”…. but I digress.
Later after a family move he started a dalliance with the Cincinnati Reds, who perchance were in the midst of their greatest era. It was a romance that was greater than many could hope to be.
After barely stomaching the strike of 1981 Brian headed West but never forgot the Reds, and even despite being surrounded by Giants and A’s fans who tried to entice him with things both Green and Orange he found himself wondering what was up with Kal Daniels and was that kid from Moeller ever going to make us forget Davey.
A long time member of SABR and a baseball history junkie he currently lives in Portland and can be followed at @baseballminutia