One of the biggest question marks heading into opening day, was whether Ubaldo Jimenez would be able to get back to his all-star form in 2010. After being traded to Cleveland last year, Jimenez finished with a sub-par (4-4) record with an ERA of over 5 (5.10).
Everyone in Northeast Ohio was unsure if Jimenez was mentally ready to start the year after intentionally throwing at Troy Tulowitzki, a former teammate in his last outing on the mound during spring training. These former teammates had apparently exchanged a few unpleasantries since the trade last July, in which it carried over to the bench clearing spat at Salt River Fields this past week. Currently, Jimenez is appealing a five game suspension handed down by Commissioner Bud Selig.
However, by appealing his suspension, Jimenez was able to make his first scheduled start today against the Blue Jays. Cleveland fans were hoping that Jimenez had put the Rockies, Tulowitzki, Former Manager (Jim Tracy), and the possibility of missing a start due to suspension behind him.
Jimenez, seemed to answer his critics right away, as he pitched unblemished baseball through his first six innings. However, the 7th inning brought back flashes of his control issues that were made well known in spring training. Jimenez gave up just one hit in the inning, but two walks and a passed ball later, had the scored tied up at (2-2). It’s hard to imagine that much improvement can be made with a one-hitter on the mound, but Jimenez through 95 pitches in 7 innings with 45 of those pitches being outside the strike zone.
The control wasn’t completely there today, but the former Colorado Rockies ace had one of his finest outings as an Indian this afternoon. Cleveland should be in many games this year with Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez pitching at the top of the rotation, so I encourage everyone in Cleveland to take one big collective breath for the time being.
About the Author
Written by Eric Kastner
Communication Studies Alumnus of Owens Community College 13'. Current, Senior at Wright State University - Lake Campus, Majoring in Organizational Leadership 14'.