Former All-Star pitcher Joe Jimenez will be starting the 2021 season with the Toledo Mud Hens rather than the Detroit Tigers.
And needless to say, it wasn’t easy breaking the news for GM Al Avila.
“The conversation with Joe was very, very tough,” Avila said Tuesday.
“He’s been a homegrown product, so it was a tough conversation,” Avila said. “We feel Joe is a big league pitcher. However, what wje told him is, ‘Yeah, you could have made the club as maybe the 13th pitcher on the staff, but that’s not what we’re looking for. We’re looking for more than that.’ He’s capable of it and that’s what we’re going to try to get out of him.”
Jimenez started 2020 as Detroit’s closer before being supplanted by Bryan Garcia, finishing with an ERA north of 7. In six appearances this spring, his ERA was a pedestrian 5.06, a stat that Avila hopes he’ll be able to improve with time at the Triple-A level.
“So while it was a tough conversation and obviously he didn’t enjoy it, we didn’t enjoy it, we do expect him to work hard and come back and be the pitcher that we know he can be,” he said.
During his career, he’s posted a 10-16 win-loss record with an 5.65 ERA.
– – Quotes via Will Burchfield of 97.1 The Ticket Link – –