Ubaldo Jimenez spoke to the media this morning and reiterated that he didn’t hit former teammate Troy Tulowitzki on purpose yesterday, saying he shouldn’t be suspended.
Jordan Bastian of MLB.com described Jimenez as having “leaned back in his chair inside the Indians’ clubhouse on Monday morning, calmly disagreeing with the notion that a suspension was warranted.”
Asked about the pitch, Jimenez said:
Hit by pitches happen every day in the game. It’s not a surprise that somebody gets hit, especially a guy like him. You have to try to go inside on him. … I said already that I didn’t mean to hit him. It was a pitch that got away. I had five walks in the game. I was everywhere.
Asked about former manager Jim Tracy calling for his suspension and calling it “the most gutless act I have seen in 35 years of professional baseball” Jimenez said:
I can’t control what people say. People act like this is the first time that somebody got hit. It happens in the game. That’s part of the game. It’s always been part of the game.
Jimenez also said he has no plans to apologize to Tulowitzki, who’s day-to-day with a bruised elbow after X-rays came back negative.
Bastian has a lot more on the situation at MLB.com, including some thoughts from Indians manager Manny Acta and further background details.
Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?
Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.
Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.