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.
Didi Gregorius will wear a mask during games this year. That’s what the Phillies infielder tells the Philadelphia Inquirer:
“We are trying to go through the guidelines and trying to do everything we can do to stay safe, so, that’s why people see me walking around with a mask on and stuff. I am keeping myself safe, wearing a mask everywhere I go. So, I have to keep it on me all the time.”
Gregorius will wear a mask both while batting and out in the field, he said.
A big reason for it is that he has a chronic kidney condition which makes him “high risk” under Major League Baseball’s safety protocols. He could opt out if he wanted to but Gregorius, who signed a $14 million deal with the Phillies last winter, is a free agent again this coming offseason. He is coming off of a down year in 2019, having hit .238/.276/.441 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI across 344 plate appearances. Gregorius underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2018 and didn’t make his 2019 season debut until June 7. A big reason he took a one-year deal was to reestablish his value for next season’s go-around on the free agent market and he doesn’t want the long layoff going into what could be his last significant payday.
Major League Baseball is not requiring players or umpires to wear masks on the field during games or practices, though it is reportedly looking into clear face shields for home plate umpires to wear under their usual protective masks.
Gregorius will wear a mask to keep himself safe, he said, but he also notes in the article that “I think it adds safety for everybody, for me and people around me.” Here’s hoping, given his vulnerability, everyone around him is being as safe as he is.