Reds have Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez “on their radar”

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Reds “have Ubaldo Jimenez on their radar” but also says “the Rockies will not trade Jimenez unless it is a perfect fit” and “the Reds are not certain buyers.”

In other words … who knows.

Rosenthal notes that the Reds, at 45-47 and four games back in the NL Central, aren’t sure yet whether they’ll be buying or selling come July 31. If they sell, veterans like Francisco Cordero and Ramon Hernandez will be shopped.

If they buy, then a potential top-of-the-rotation starter like Jimenez certainly would make sense and they could try to entice the Rockies by packaging a young starter like Homer Bailey or Mike Leake with first base prospect Yonder Alonso. Of course, if Colorado starts to actively shop Jimenez then Cincinnati will hardly be the only team interested.

Jimenez’s overall numbers aren’t pretty, but he’s pitched much better of late, was fantastic last season while throwing 222 innings with a 2.88 ERA, and is a 27-year-old under team control via reasonable salaries through 2014. Colorado should be asking a ton for him.

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.