Indians fans have put up with a bit of bad news this off-season, all before the start of the regular season.
– Fausto Carmona/Roberto Hernandez Heredia is not who he said he was, older than he said he was, and still stuck in the Dominican Republic.
– Grady Sizemore had back surgery and won’t be back until (approximately, optimistically) the All-Star break.
– Chris Perez has a pulled oblique, but should be ready by Opening Day (or not long after).
I know that I personally don’t feel like hearing about any more serious injuries or legal issues for a while. Particularly the legal issues; injuries are accidents and often can’t be helped. Legal issues, on the other hand, (and the consequences from those legal issues) can often be avoided by not making stupid decisions. For example, when Shin-Soo Choo was busted for a DUI early last season, he later said the incident weighed on him throughout the season. I could do without more of those type of situations in 2012.
So even if you’re one of the people that disagreed with the Ubaldo Jimenez – Drew Pomeranz and Alex White deal, here’s a bit of a bright side for you: at least Pomeranz’s and White’s problems off the field are no longer the Indians’ problem. Pomeranz was arrested in October for disturbing the peace near his alma mater of Ole Miss. (Alcohol was likely involved). Just this past weekend, Alex White was arrested for DUI near Scottsdale, Arizona. His blood alcohol was high enough that he may be charged with an “extreme” DUI.
While Jimenez didn’t have a great start in his first spring appearance, it was his first spring appearance. As a sign of how Spring Training can’t tell you everything, I saw Jimenez pitch at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (opened last year as the new Rockies-Diamondbacks complex). He was perfect through 5 innings; in fact he left the field with his perfect game in tact (the pitcher that followed him gave it up quickly). Jimenez was so good, he was only supposed to pitch about 3 innings; it took him through 5 to throw all of his pitches. After that game, Jimenez looked so amazing to me (in my defense, I think maybe I had sun stroke) that I picked the Rockies to win their division. We all know what happened next. One good point about his rough start the other day – Jimenez averaged about 94-96 mph throughout his brief appearance.
After news of White’s DUI broke, a lot of Rockies fans were up in arms on the internet, complaining about the trade. I saw at least one comment that said the Indians “robbed” them and others that said they wished they had Jimenez back. Maybe when this is all said and done, Indians fans and Rockies fans can unite in their mutual hatred of this trade. I’m hoping that maybe the Indians fans will get the last laugh in this one.
Side note: The Indians “B” squad defeated the Kansas City Royals today, 3-2, for their first win of the spring. The Tribe scored all of their runs from a Shelley Duncan 3-run shot. Kevin Slowey pitched two scoreless innings, Vinnie Pestano had a scoreless frame, and Chen-Chang Lee closed out the game for the Indians (something he was not able to do during their 6-6 draw the other day against the Reds).
Extra side note: The Indians play tomorrow against the Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields. This is one of the most beautiful ballparks I’ve ever been to, that has the added bonus of cheesecake on a stick (and is also where I caught my first foul ball). They also apparently have swarms of bees this spring.