Jim Tracy on Ubaldo Jimenez: “It’s the most gutless act I have seen in 35 years of professional baseball”

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Jim Tracy didn’t mince words about the Ubaldo Jimenez-Troy Tulowitzki thing from yesterday:

“It’s the most gutless act I have seen in 35 years of professional baseball. I have lost all respect for him. To do something like that and walk down off the mound, and if there’s any suggestion whatsoever that the ball got away, I don’t want to hear any of that (expletive). He intentionally threw at him. He should be suspended. I am going to be very disappointed if he doesn’t get suspended. He deserves to be”

I don’t know about “gutless” — a lot of behavior people call cowardly actually takes a lot of dumbass and misguided bravado of a sort — but this is low rent.  But it’s not unprecedented or anything. Guys settle scores like this — including ones based on pissy little media wars — all the time.  I think the gold standard for this may be Jose Mesa drilling Omar Vizquel every single time he faced him for years following Vizquel slamming Mesa for blowing the 1997 World Series in his autobiography.

Anyway, even if I disapprove of Jimenez’s stunt — throwing at guys intentionally is the worst — I think the most gutless part of it was the standard “the ball got away from me” stuff after the game.  They all say that because it helps form the basis of their appeal after they get disciplined, but gosh, at least give a no comment here. Everyone knows what was going on.

Nathan Eovaldi to make 2018 debut for Rays soon

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Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.

Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.

When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.

The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.