"That was the type of game to get his feet wet," manager Brad Ausmus said. "Not a lot on the line."
Jimenez had to accept it, but he made his impact while he could.
With temperatures dropping into the upper 40s and a wind chill numbing fingers, the Tigers' fifth-ranked prospect by MLBPipeline.com did not have his upper-90s fastball on display, settling for a mid-90s version he could control. But his work with secondary pitches -- a challenge the Tigers issued to him in order to make the jump -- was apparent.
Chris Gimenez, the first batter to face Jimenez, laid off the slider but flew out on a 94 mph fastball.
"I've never faced Ubaldo, so this was my first at-bat against a Jimenez," Gimenez said. "I was pretty excited, especially against a new kid, until they told me he threw 98 with a nasty slider. That wasn't as exciting."
Jimenez dusted off his third pitch, a changeup, to get a swing-and-miss from Eddie Rosario before he popped out to deep short. Byron Buxton, who fell into an 0-2 hole on fastballs, laid off one slider before chasing another one off the plate.
Jimenez, speaking through a translator, said he was calm the whole time, having learned from his experience pitching for Puerto Rico at the World Baseball Classic. He said he understood the move back to Triple-A, saying it's a business, but that he learned a lot in the few days he was up.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.