It was a relatively easy outing for Dany Jimenez on May 25. He faced three batters, getting two grounders and a fly out as he preserved the Oakland A’s 4-2 victory over the Mariners. It may not have been flashy, and may have taken 16 pitches, but Jimenez was able to get the job done once again.
That appearance also marked Jimenez’s tenth save of the year. While that may not appear to be an overly impressive number these days, it is just the sixth time in A’s history that a rookie has notched ten or more saves in a season and the first time since Ryan Cook had 14 saves back in 2012.
Dany Jimenez putting name in Oakland A’s record book
Clearly, notching ten or more saves as a rookie does not a closer make. Cook may have had 14 saves in his rookie campaign, but he also ended his time in the majors with a grand total of 17 saves. He had been a solid reliever for his first three years in the majors until injuries sapped his effectiveness.
While Cook never claimed the closer role as his own, the same cannot be said for Jimenez. He is clearly in command of the ninth inning without much in the way of challengers. Lou Trivino may have been the closer last year, but his ineffectiveness coupled with Jimenez’s emergence have ended any questions as to who will have the ninth inning going forward.
It appears as though the A’s have found their long term answer for the ninth inning. Jimenez has posted a 0.49 ERA and a 0.873 WHiP over his 18.1 innings, striking out 19 batters with just six walks. He has finally harnessed the stuff that had intrigued the A’s for years and is proving to be exactly what they need in the bullpen.
Dany Jimenez has become the sixth rookie in Oakland A’s history to record ten or more saves in a season. Chances are, he is not stopping any time soon.