There is no question that the Oakland A’s have been enticed by Dany Jimenez. He had been a Rule V Draft pick of theirs previously, and they pounced quickly when he became a minor league free agent.
It is easy to see why. His high octane fastball and ability to generate strikeouts made him seem to be the type of arm that could slot into a key bullpen role in the late innings. The problem was Jimenez could not harness his stuff as his command was shaky at best.
That has changed this season. Jimenez is still generating strikeouts, striking out nine batters in his seven innings of work. Most importantly, he has only issued two walks in that time frame, showing improved command compared to previous years.
Those improvements have led to Jimenez being used in high leverage spots. With Lou Trivino on the COVID list, Jimenez has taken over as the A’s closer, notching three saves already on the year. As Trivino was not exactly a lockdown option in the ninth, and there have been questions about whether or not he would continue in that role anyway, Jimenez may have found his place.
The Oakland A’s have had plenty of surprises this season. Dany Jimenez taking over as their closer may be one of the biggest ones.