Ubaldo Jimenez has filed an appeal of his five-game suspension for hitting Troy Tulowitzki on Sunday, which is no surprise after the Indians right-hander insisted that he didn’t hit his former Rockies teammate on purpose.
Jimenez was scheduled to start the Indians’ second game of the season, but would have to be pushed back to at least the sixth game if the suspension is upheld.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy called Jimenez hitting Tulowitzki “the most gutless act I have seen in 35 years of professional baseball.”
Jimenez repeatedly said that he didn’t intend to hit Tulowitzki, explaining that “people act like this is the first time that somebody got hit … it happens all the time” and explaining that his control during Sunday’s game “was everywhere” with five walks before the hit by pitch.
Jimenez was not ejected from the game despite the benches clearing. Tulowitzki underwent X-rays, but they came back negative and he’s day-to-day with a bruised elbow.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.