Dany Jimenez deserves chance to claim Oakland A’s closer role in 2023
By David Hill
Dany Jimenez had been a revelation for the Oakland A’s over the first few weeks of the regular season.
As Lou Trivino struggled at the beginning of the season, it was Jimenez who surprisingly took over in the ninth inning. He was a dominant force for the first few weeks of the season, posting a 0.49 ERA and a 0.873 WHiP over his 18.1 innings through May 25. He issued six walks while striking out 19 batters and notching ten saves, looking like a potential All Star through that point in the season.
Dany Jimenez best closer option on Oakland A’s
Everything fell apart from there. Jimenez battled injuries and ineffectiveness, posting a 6.75 ERA and a 1.563 WHiP over his final 16 innings of the season. He recorded just one more save in that time, issuing 12 walks with 15 strikeouts. His ongoing shoulder woes certainly made a difference as he was unable to command his arsenal.
In the interim, none of the other A’s options were able to seize the role for themselves. A.J. Puk has the type of arsenal that should allow him to succeed as a closer, but he could not handle it. Domingo Acevedo and Zach Jackson had solid years but do not appear capable of handling that role either.
The A’s are not going to go out and spend on a closer this offseason. Even if they took a chance on a reliever coming off of a down year in the hopes that they could flip him for prospects at the deadline, they just are not going to spend that type of money.
This leaves Jimenez as the best option. He has proven that he can handle the pressure of the ninth inning. When healthy, he showed the potential to be a strong option in that role. While no one will expect him to be the pitcher he was at the start of this season, he can still be the piece the A’s need as their closer going forward.
Dany Jimenez was a revelation for the first few weeks of the 2022 campaign. He remains their best option at the closer spot for 2023.