Ubaldo Jimenez has had some really bad starts as a member of the Tribe.  However, tonight’s had to rank up there with one of his worst ever.  Coming out of Spring Training I was hopeful that this was going to be Ubaldo’s year to turn it around.  He seemed to have worked a lot on his mechanics and he was walking far fewer batters as a result.  He was able to carry this momentum into his first start against Toronto before faltering last week in the Tribe’s home opener against the Yankees.  I was curious to see how Ubaldo was going to bounce back following his latest performance, and let’s just say the he failed the test…miserably.

Everything that Ubaldo has been working on over the past few months was thrown away in this start.  His stat line was horrendous: 1.2 IP, 7 ER, and 5 BB.  The walks are still what concern me because this was something he supposedly improved upon in the offseason by fixing his mechanics.  However, today proved that he is still a work in progress.  It’s extremely difficult to be a work in progress and simultaneously help your team to win ballgames at the big league level.

It’s only his 3rd start, and it’s only game number 12 of the season, so I’m not ready to hit the panic button on Ubaldo this season just yet.  That being said, I am getting really, really close.  If the Tribe wishes to genuinely compete this season, they simply cannot throw Ubaldo out there every 5th day with the same inconsistency he has shown early on this season and throughout his career with the Tribe.

To make matters worse, the Tribe had to feature a different looking lineup today as well as it was announced that Michael Bourn is headed to the 15-day DL.  The offense had some opportunities tonight, but simply was not able to breakthrough against Boston starter Felix Doubront.  I have to say, I am slightly concerned about the trickle-down effect of the Bourn injury.  Francona had Drew Stubbs batting leadoff tonight, which is not ideal due to Stubbs’s high number of strikeouts and low OBP.  Additionally, Carlos Santana was moved up to the 3rd spot in the batting order and responded by going hitless in 4 AB with 2 K and 4 LOB.  I thought that it was eventually inevitable that Francona was going to move Santana up in the order at some point this season based on his RBI and OBP potential.  However, I would have preferred for him to continue batting 6th for a few more weeks with less pressure on him before Francona considered moving him up.  I guess injuries always force a manager to readjust though.

If there was a silver lining in today’s game it was the bullpen for sure.  We have one heck of a bullpen, and it showed tonight.  Outside of Mike Napoli’s 3-run double allowed by Cody Allen after inheriting Ubaldo’s mess, the bullpen was simply phenomenal.  The combination of Allen, Nick Hagadone, Rich Hill, and Bryan Shaw worked 7.1 innings and gave up 4 hits (all off Allen), and struck out an unbelievable 15 batters.  Note that these are just our middle relievers here folks, as our big 3 of Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano, and Chris Perez didn’t even pitch in this dominant bullpen outing.  This goes to show just how good and deep our bullpen is.  This is the one positive to take away from tonight’s game at the very least.

15 Comments

  • joey says:

    i cant imagine any fan paying money to go watch him pitch…actualy,i cant imagine any fan even watching him pitch on tv!

  • Adam Hintz says:

    A dip in velocity, Ks, or other stats doesn’t really bother me one bit, but these walks… oh I just can’t stand to see so many walks. Dude got five outs and walked five batters in the process.

  • Sean Porter says:

    This guy will be soooooooooooooo happy when he hears the words: “The Cleveland Indians will not pick up the option on Ubaldo Jimenez for the 2014 season, making him a free agent…”

  • Swift says:

    If I had a panic button, and if I thought hitting it would do something, I am ready to hit it. ;)

  • DaveR says:

    We’re here already? Thought it would at least be May.

  • Erod says:

    I am definitely ready to hit panic button on Ubaldo. I get the same feeling I did watching Fausto (whoever) couple years back whenever Ubaldo pitches. Allen was great hitting his spots and locking up hitters on 3rd strike pitches. If only he could be a starter. I do think they need to move Ubaldo to pen since he’s only able to give a few good innings (not the case last night) and give spot to Trevor, Dice K or Kluber.

  • Chris Burnham says:

    9:27 AM. Still not DFAed.

    • The Doctor says:

      If only.

      I will die a happy man if just once, they pull someone midgame and distribute a press release while the game is still in progress announcing that they’ve cut someone. If it didnt happen here, for quite possibly the world’s perfect candidate, I fear it never will. They really should have just asked him to turn in his uniform right as he left the field.

  • Drew says:

    Right now the Indians have 1 pitcher, Justin Masterson, that looks solid. Zach McAllister is getting very close to being reliable. So that makes 2. Brett Myers is not reliable; He got lucky on Sunday as a 88 mph fastball isn’t going to cut it in the AL. Scott Kazmir is an unknown, even if he pitched very well in AAA on Monday night. I am curious to see how he does with the Astros on Saturday.

    So let’s be optimistic and say that Kazmir is a serviceable pitcher capable of eating some innings this season and that McAllister continues his development. Now the Indians have 3 pitchers. Ubaldo and Myers will remain around until the Super 2 deadline passes, when Trevor Bauer gets the call-up. That could be a very rough period. Dice-K hasn’t looked good in AAA, so I can’t say that he is an option, unfortunately. I think Francona will continue to look for ways to reduce Ubaldo’s innings over the next few months but I doubt the Indians will ever cut him.

  • The Doctor says:

    Hitting the panic button on Ubaldo would seem to imply there is someone who thought he was going to less awful this year than he’s been at any other time for us. Does that person exist? Ubaldo is actively detrimental to the team, when he’s consistently punishing the bullpen with his putridness.

    Does anyone know if Ubaldo calls his own pitches? If they’re coming from Santana and/or the coaching staff, it makes no sense that they’re allowing him to throw so many 2-2 and 3-2 breaking balls to bums at the bottom of the order.

  • Jerry Greer says:

    Indians struck out 16 batters and lost by 5….is this some kind of record?

  • Jerry Greer says:

    Ubaldo Jimenez allowed 7 earned runs and 5 walks and didn’t make it out of the 2nd inning. He’s the 4th Indians starter in the Live Ball Era to pull that off and the 1st in 20 years.(espn)

  • Drew says:

    Just thought about this. The Indians should place Michael Bourn on the DL, retroactive to Monday or Tuesday depending on how off-day works, and call up Carlos Carrasco for the next 3 days, send him down on Friday and recall Scott Kazmir. Now that 8-game suspension is only 5 more days.

    • Mary Jo says:

      Not sure, but I think the entire 8-day suspension has to be served in one, unbroken span. Otherwise great idea, but too much of an end-around especially for a pitcher.

  • Matt says:

    I’m not so much panicking about Ubaldo as I am simply resigned to his inconsistently awful play. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll see him departing anytime soon. The only benefit of a Jimenez start is that I get to see our phenomenal bullpen go to work, which is, of course, a double edged sword.