Ubaldo Jimenez plans to pitch in winter ball

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Feeling that not getting enough work in the offseason led to his slow start, Ubaldo Jimenez said Thursday that he’s hoping to pitch winter ball.

Surprisingly enough, the Rockies are on board with Jimenez’s plan to pitch for the Licey Tigers this winter.  Jimenez indicated that he’d likely only make a handful of starts, possibly just four.

Jimenez pitched for Licey prior to the 2010 season that he started off 15-1 for the Rockies.  He was the NL’s starting pitcher in the All-Star Game that year and finished 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA.

After taking the winter off, Jimenez opened this season winless in his first nine starts.  His ERA remained over 6.00 into mid-May, but he has been much better since, going 6-3 with a 2.58 ERA since the beginning of June.

Of course, while Jimenez’s December stint in the Dominican Republic looks like a go for now, things could change if the Rockies decide to trade him or if he suffers an arm injury at some point within the next couple of months.  Teams tend to be shy even when it comes to letting veteran position players take part in winter ball.  Veteran pitchers typically have a very difficult time getting clearance, since teams don’t like them working in games unless they can monitor them themselves.

Michael Conforto unlikely to be on the Mets’ Opening Day roster

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Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters today that it was “unlikely” that Michael Conforto will make the opening roster.

Not shocking given the shoulder surgery he had back in September, but given that he seems to be recovering more quickly than first anticipated, it was worth Alderson’s time to make the announcement. Indeed, back in December it was not expected that he’d see much if any game action at all during spring training, but here he is, playing DH today in the Mets game against the Cardinals.

Conforto missed the last six weeks of the 2017 season with a left shoulder injury and underwent surgery in early September to repair a tear of the posterior capsule in his shoulder. He finished the season batting .279/.384/.555 with 27 home runs and 68 RBI in 440 plate appearances. By the looks of things, he should be back some time in April.