Ubaldo Jimenez cleared to return Monday against Giants

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The Rockies are about to get their ace back.

According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez threw a successful simulated game Wednesday at extended spring training and has been cleared to return to the Colorado rotation Monday against the Giants.

Jimenez threw 81 pitches in the simulated game, allowing seven hits and two earned runs over five innings while striking out three. The velocity on his fastball ranged from 94-97 MPH and he induced a total of nine groundball outs.

Jimenez has been out for the past week because of a cut on his right thumb cuticle. Now healthy, he will try to bounce back from a rough Opening Day start against the Diamondbacks that saw him surrender seven earned runs over six treacherous innings.

Report: Rangers sign Jeff Mathis to two-year deal

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The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.

Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.

The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.