Ubaldo Jimenez was suspended five games and fined an undisclosed amount by MLB for hitting former teammate Troy Tulowitzki in the elbow with a pitch during an exhibition game last Sunday. However, he appealed the suspension and will make his season debut as scheduled this afternoon against the Blue Jays.
According to Dennis Manoloff of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Indians manager Manny Acta confirmed this morning that Jimenez is expected to drop his appeal after today’s start.
And so, the suspension turns out to be nothing more than a minor slap on the wrist. The Indians already have a scheduled off-day on Thursday, so Jimenez is expected to be skipped in the rotation and return to the mound when he’s eligible next Saturday against the Royals.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.