Jimenez, from Santiago in the Dominican Republic, was signed as an international free agent by the Dodgers on December 23, 2015. During the 2016 season he played with the DSL Dodgers making 12 appearances, all of them starts. In six of those starts he pitched five innings and had an additional two appearances of six and four innings respectively. On the season, the right-handed Jimenez posted a 1.47 ERA along with a 0.96 WHIP while striking out 66 in 55 innings pitched and walking 18.
As a 16-year-old in the DSL he didn’t allow a home run in his 55 innings and induced ground balls at a 50 per cent rate.
The 6’0”/170-pound right-hander began the 2017 season with the Arizona League Dodgers making five relief appearances in which he logged 11 innings while posting a 1.64 ERA and a 0.64 WHIP. He gave up but three hits limiting opposing hitters to a .083 batting average. He struck out 18 and walked four.
In late June during the 2017 season, the then 17-year -old Jimenez was promoted to the Great Lakes Loons becoming the second youngest player to ever don a Loons uniform. Left-hander Julio Urias was the youngest player to play for the Loons when he debuted in Midland on May 26, 2013 as a 16-year-old.
In 28 innings pitched with the Loons Jimenez posted a 2.57 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP with 36 strikeouts and 12 walks. On the season, over 94 innings, he gave up but two home runs.
Perhaps the nervousness of a new season coupled with the 34 degree temperature with gusty winds affected Jimenez on Sunday. In his first inning pitched he gave up one run while struggling with control, walking two, recording a wild pitch and giving up a lead off triple. He recovered with a scoreless second inning while picking up two strikeouts.
Unexpectedly he returned for the third inning and quickly struck out center fielder Chavez Young who had tripled to lead off the game. Jimenez was replaced by left-hander Austin Hamilton following a three-base error by Loons center fielder Brayan Morales. The young right-hander left the game having thrown 53 pitches, 32 of them strikes.
The Loons went on to win their first game of the season, 11-6 over the Lansing Lugnuts , with a five-run fifth inning. Both left fielder Starling Heredia and center fielder Brayan Morales had three runs batted in as did 19-year-old catcher Ramon Rodriguez. The Loons had 12 hits, all singles, and stole five bases.
On the mound Austin Hamilton, James Carter and Aneurys Zabala followed Jimenez. Hamilton and Zabala both had scoreless outings while Carter gave up five runs in two innings.
In the nightcap of the double header right-hander Edwin Uceta started for the Loons. The just turned 20-year-old was signed by the Dodgers as an international free agent on July 2, 2016. In the Dominican Summer League in 2016 he posted a 1.72 ERA along with a 0.73 WHIP. In 31.1 innings he struck out 28 and walked but three.
Uceta, a 6’0”/155-pound native of Villa Los Almacigos in the Dominican Republic, came stateside for the 2017 season starting for the Ogden Raptors of the rookie level Pioneer League. In 14 starts he pitched 56 innings striking out 62 and walking 14. He had a rather unsightly ERA of 6.59. However, the season was a bit of an eye opener for the Dodgers development team. He did have five short outings that went rather poorly but had seven for four, five or six innings in which he gave up a total of one earned run while striking out 37 and walking four. One of those was a perfect six innings .That no doubt helped him gain a spot with the Loons to start the 2018 season.
On Sunday evening he pitched four innings and made one mistake, a two-run home run by Lugnuts’ Kacy Clemens, son of Roger Clemens.
Beyond the one fat pitch, Uceta gave up no hits, walked one and struck out five. He threw 66 pitches, 40 for strikes.
Right-hander Andre Scrubb followed Uceta to the mound with the Loons leading 5-2. To that point offensively the Great Lakes squad were led by first baseman Nick Yarnell who was a triple short of the cycle. Third baseman Marcus Chiu had hit his first home run of the season, right-fielder Romar Cuadrado had three hits while designated hitter Starling Heredia had two hits coupled with his first game hits giving him four for the day.
Scrubb pitched two innings of one-hit ball for the win while walking one. Left-hander Devin Hemmerich came on to close out the seventh inning of the twin bill and did so on 16 pitches, including two strikeouts, earning his first save of the season.
Nick Yarnell had a shot at the cycle in the top of the seventh inning but flew out on a hard hit ball to the opposite field.
The Following is From Always Compete:
Overall, a great day in the Dodgers organization. The only team that did not win was OKC, and that is because they did not play. The MLB team beat the Giants. The Tulsa Drillers beat the Midland Rockhounds (A’s) 12-7. The Drillers scored 12 runs on 13 hits and committed 2 errors. DJ Peters hit two HR’s, while Kyle Garlick had three hits. Angelo Mora continued his mastery over AA pitching with 2 more hits (2nd triple and 1st HR). Connor Joe also had a 2 hit game.
Devin Smeltzer started and went 4 innings, allowing 4 runs (3 earned), 7 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts, and 2 HR’s. Smeltzer was followed by Shea Spitzbarth (2.0 IP), Corey Copping (2.0 IP), and Karch Kowalczyk (1.0 IP), with each allowing a run, and Copping getting the win. In Copping’s 2.0 IP, he registered 5 K’s.
RC Quakes beat the Visalia Rawhide (DBacks) 8-4. The Quakes scored 8 runs on 12 hits and committed 1 error. There were four Quakes with a pair of hits (Omar Estevez, Cristian Santana, Connor Wong, and Ibandel Isabel). Isabel and Logan Landon hit their first home runs of 2018. After the first weekend, Quakes’ batting averages include Estevez and Santana at .412, and Wong at .500. I know it is a very very very small sample size but Wong has an impressive slash line of .500/.571/1.167/1.728. In 14 PA, Wong has 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 4 RBI’s, and even a stolen base.
Tony Gonsolin started and went 3.2 IP. He allowed 3 runs on 2 hits, 3 walks, and 4 strike outs. Parker Curry followed for 1.1 inning allowing the 4th run on a HR. Former (?) starting pitcher Leo Crawford went 3.0 innings allowing 1 hit and 2 walks, and 1 strike out. Stetson Allie finished the game allowing 2 hits, but also had 3 strikeouts.