Ubaldo Jimenez makes rehab start, buys everyone steak and lobster

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Ubaldo Jimenez kicked off a minor-league rehab assignment Tuesday at Single-A, tossing 4.2 innings of one-run ball as he comes back from a sprained ankle suffered when he stepped in a hole in a parking lot.

Jimenez allowed five hits and three walks, so it’s unclear if the Orioles will be impressed enough by the uneven outing to activate him from the disabled list yet after indicating initially that they might take their sweet time doing so.

If he does stay on a rehab stint for another start at least the Orioles’ minor leaguers will be well fed. After last night’s game Single-A right-hander Nigel Nootbaar–who was a 12th-round pick last year–tweeted about the clubhouse spread provided by Jimenez:

It’s customary for any veteran major leaguer visiting the minors to spring for a food upgrade in the clubhouse and Jimenez apparently did his part and then some in the first season of a four-year, $50 million deal. So they’d probably like for him to stick around in Single-A.

Report: 11 umpires have opted out of the 2020 season

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Jon Heyman reports that 11 MLB umpires have opted out of the 2020 season or have otherwise declined to participate. He says “some are said to have family members who are ill.” The umpires’ identities are not yet known.

Umpires, like players, have the right to opt-out with full pay if they are in a high risk group due to preexisting health conditions. Umpires can, obviously, be older as well, so age factors into it for some as well. Also like players, umpires who are themselves not high risk can opt-out if they have concern for the health of family members, though they will forego paychecks.

Recently, one umpire who is high risk — Joe West — made headlines for not only choosing not to opt-out but for also giving voice to COVID-19 denialism, questioning official statistics about infections and deaths.

The latest on West: