Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez surrendered six runs over six innings Friday in a rough debut loss to the Diamondbacks. A report Saturday from the Denver Post may give us an idea of why he looked so shaky.
According to the Post‘s Troy Renck, Jimenez has a small cut along his right thumb cuticle and it affects the grip of just about every pitch that he throws.
The Rockies are deciding whether to simply treat it and hope for the best in his next scheduled outing or give him a full week off. Ubaldo had a similar cut in early spring training and cost him a start.
“It’s a little thing, but it’s not,” the right-hander said Saturday.
Jimenez has used moisturizing balm on the cut and plans to soak it in pickle juice. Yes, pickle juice. The thin air in Colorado can sometimes affect the development of scabs.
If he can’t go on Thursday against the Pirates, the Rockies may be forced to call up John Maine or Greg Reynolds from Triple-A Colorado Springs. A stint on the disabled list is not out of the question for Ubaldo.
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.