Ubaldo Jimenez’s infected right thumb is “nothing serious”

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Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post reports that Ubaldo Jimenez “won’t pitch for a few days” because of an infection in his right thumb, but manager Jim Tracy called it “absolutely nothing serious.”

Maybe not, but Armstrong writes that Jimenez “had the thumb lanced and fluid removed from the infected area.” Here’s more from Tracy:

The moral to the story is we’re obviously going to let that heal before we venture out there and have him throwing balls where the seams can rub on that area and irritate and possibly tear it even worse. And then we created a problem for ourselves. Better to be proactive.

Jimenez pitched two scoreless innings Saturday, so sitting out a few days or even a week wouldn’t really put him much behind schedule, but obviously the “possibly tear it even worse” part will loom large once he returns to the mound.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.