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4.17.2013

Morning Rundown: Ubaldo At His Worst; Eww-Baldo At His Best

Nino Colla | Wednesday, April 17, 2013 | | | | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

Not sure if I ever got to this point last season, but I'm tapping out. I'm done, wave the white flag, cancel my subscription, check please, I've seen enough, take him out back and end it.

I think we have gone through enough Ubaldo Jimenez. Yes, it's only three starts, but it is emotionally draining watching his man pitch. He has completely lost any and all good will with giving him a chance with his second outing.

And for me to say this, at this juncture of the season, not even halfway into the first month of baseball, must tell you a lot. I'm the last one to light up a torch or sharpen a pitch fork, but I'm doing it. I'm joining the angry mob. I'm getting putting gasoline in the glass bottle and finding a lighter. I'm grabbing a megaphone and leading the charge.

Ubaldo Must Go!

RED SOX - 7 | INDIANS - 2
W: Felix Doubront (1-0)
L: Ubaldo Jimenez (0-2)
[BOXSCORE]

Terry Francona didn't want this series with his former club, the Boston Red Sox, to be about him.

Don't worry, Ubaldo Jimenez quickly made it all about him.

"I'm sure when we go back to Fenway it'll bring back a lot of special memories and a lot of thoughts, but we're in Cleveland and this is my home, and the home team," Francona said. "It's not just another series, but at the same time, it's not like I woke up this morning and it's all I thought about."

He probably thought about who he was going to have to use and abuse after Jimenez exited after three or four innings with 100 pitches.
Photo - Getty Images via Yahoo! Sports

So he was probably shocked when Jimenez couldn't even make it through the second without walking nine-hundred people. Tito thought he had at least one more inning before that decision was made.

I'm joking of course, because in the face of this abomination of a pitcher, all we can really do is laugh and hope things change real soon. Jimenez was terrible. There's nothing much more you can say about it. He has reached a maddening level of predictability. The unpredictability was something you could live with because you thought maybeeeee there would be a good night or that he would come out and at least try and keep his team in the game.

Now? Nope. It's pretty obvious what is going to happen. Eww-Baldo went right out there and walked five guys in one inning. He went from having a 15 pitch clean first inning to walking five, giving up a pair of hits, and recording just two outs with 44 pitches in the second frame.

He has reached the point of being un-watchable with his 11.25 ERA in just three starts. He's given up seven runs in two straight games. He double his walk total in just one night, and the fact that he had five coming in and five on Tuesday is not a good thing.

Beyond these horrible numbers is that un-watchable factor. He cannot throw a strike. Whether he's 3-1, 2-0, or 3-2, he's not throwing strikes when he needs to. He's losing batters after getting up because he's trying to be too fine or trying to strike them out, and then when he gets into these 3-1 counts, there's absolutely no hope to begin with.

When he's in the stretch, he's god awful and the thing is, he's always in the stretch because he's always putting people on.

You can't even get through two innings and you had only given up four runs? Something is wrong, something is seriously wrong.

So it begs the question? Are we ready to just punt Ubaldo right now? Of course, I don't really think that will happen right now. The Indians are not reactionary, especially after three games. They'll continue to run Ubaldo out there a few more times.

"Mickey worked on direction to the plate and throwing the ball downhill, just pounding the zone down," manager Terry Francona said. "You can be frustrated, or you can try to make it better. I think we choose to try to make it better. As long as he keeps working, we're going to work hard. We want to get it right."

But if this continues, something needs to be done. You'd almost be better off paying him to not hurt you than you would be to attempt to "get your worth" for what you are paying him. Because I at least know that Corey Kluber will hit the strikezone more often than not. He may give up more runs, but at least he will give himself a chance for success.

Jimenez gives himself and his team no chance because the outcome is predicted before it even happens. He's going to walk someone more times than not.

Sure, the Indians won't do it right now, but I would. I'd kiss his ass to the curb and never look back. Waive him, designate him, whatever. If he ends up back in your system in Columbus, that's fine, try and fix him down there if you have to, whatever. As long as he isn't punting games up with the Indians, it doesn't matter. You aren't trading him, and if you are, it's for peanuts in return, and if someone else wants to take on his salary, all the more power to him and it is something the Indians most definitely should do if presented the opportunity.

"I have to erase everything," Jimenez said.

Can you erase your past two starts? No? Fine...

The guy is beyond fixing in my opinion and if he is, let someone else try and do it. He has mental issues that translate well beyond his broke mechanics. How many times can you adjust his mechanics before you realize it is more than that? The Indians have tried and it is clear they cannot for whatever reason. Jimenez needs to go and if it isn't today, it should be real soon. He'll continue to do this, maybe the next time out he'll come out and be respectable, go five innings, whatever, but soon again, he'll bite you in the ass.

Ubaldo said he's going to go back to throwing two side sessions between starts, because that's what he did this spring. I say, whatever.

Cut bait. Pay him to go away if you have to, it wouldn't be the first time a team did it and it won't be the last. He is gone after this year anyway and it makes no sense to live through this when you would rather live through the growing pains of Trevor Bauer, or whatever potential Corey Kluber may have and to see if he can figure it out.

Random Notes...

I know that kind of turned into a Ubaldo diatribe, so we'll try and figure everything else out here...

The bullpen was awesome. Cody Allen gave up that hit when he came in, but he was just properly adjusting Ubaldo's ERA to reflect actual performance. Other than that, he struck out six in three full innings of work, quite stellar on his part.

Hagadone also gave the Indians two solid frames, and really those two saved the bullpen from what could have been a disastrous situation that Ubaldo put them in.

Jimenez's stuff aside, the Indians could have won this game actually. Like, if they had better at-bats with two outs, there would have been a whole different story on the scoreboard than what it ended up with. Plenty of baserunners, plenty of chances against Dubront, and they even got him out early. The team left nine guys on base and were ultimately very bad with runners on as a whole.

Six walks, six hits, plenty of guys out there to knock in, specifically in several instances in the 2nd and 5th. Gotta capitalize, especially since it was still relatively early and with the way the bullpen pitched, very much a game they could have found their way back into.

Drew Stubbs had a great first game in his new temporary leadoff role, two walks and a hit, doing his part.

The umpiring was bad, like real bad. I'll give Ubaldo one thing. He should have been out of that inning way before it unraveled. It isn't an excuse though because he can't let that get to him in that way. The fact that it spiraled that out of control is on him. But he got robbed of several clear strike calls that should have got him out of that inning.

[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

Turns out Michael Bourn will actually miss more than the Boston series, contrary to what was thought initially after the game on Sunday where he cut his finger open sliding in head first to first base and getting stepped on.

Bourn will likely hit the disabled list within the next few days, it will be back-dated, as the Indians make some roster moves. It will be a temporary pain in the rear-end to not have the Indians leadoff hitter and center fielder for a few more games than we thought, but if there is one thing the Indians did by acquiring Bourn, it was deepen their bench. So it won't hurt them as much as it does when you lose someone like Carlos Santana.

It still hurts though. Thankfully, it is just a cut and when he's back, he'll be back and there will no worry about any lingering issues, nor will his game potentially suffer.

Along with that piece of news, Scott Kazmir will go for the Indians on Saturday when he's activated off the disabled list. Kaz pitched for the Clippers on Monday going through five innings with no walks and just an unearned run given up off five hits. He also struck out five.

"[The reports were] very good," Francona said. "Because he's building up, he was limited to [around 60] pitches. That's something to think about, but he threw the ball very well. [Pitching coach Mickey Callaway] went down there to watch. All the reports were very positive. I think Scotty felt really good about himself."

He threw 60 pitches in just five innings? Get him up here, please. It will be nice to get him in and going. I think we're all eager to see if he's really a new pitcher and if his changes can translate to re-finding his success at the big league level.

One move the Indians already did make involved the call-up of Cord Phelps, who had been on the Columbus disabled list. He only played in a few games, but with Kipnis sore, the Indians sent down Omir Santos and brought up the extra infielder just in case. But it also works towards what the Indians will do with Bourn in the coming days, likely activating Kazmir and putting Bourn on the disabled list. Phelps can play the infield and you can throw him in the outfield if need be, but Ryan Raburn should remain the primary outfield replacement.

With Bourn out, you'll probably see Giambi DH and Swisher play right more than anything, but the need for another bench player is necessary with Bourn out, and if Kipnis is banged up, all the more reason to have someone like Cord around with your primary bench player (Aviles) playing second and games like last night where Raburn played the outfield. As for Kipnis?

"I feel better. It's getting there," Kipnis said on Tuesday. "Hopefully everything goes well today and I show up fine tomorrow and go from there."

Yeah can't have him ailing too, so hopefully that gets figured out.

The catching situation is starting to work itself out with Carlos Santana back and Lou Marson starting his rehab stint with the Clippers this week. The Indians still need some depth, which prompted the trade for Chris Wallace from the Astros organization.
Eric Berger's Glorious Stache

Going to Houston was Eric Berger, who had quite possibly the greatest mustache the Indians organization has ever seen. Glorious mustache, such a beautiful thing. Best wishes to Berger, who had fallen into that AAA/AA relief/start limbo so many players fall into.

Wallace was sent to Double-A Akron, which was rolling with just Alex Lavisky at catcher with Roberto Perez called up to Columbus. Omir Santos is now back to C-Bus to back him up, but they'll also have Marson in and out to utilize for the time being. Marson did not get to play last night due to the Clippers rain out.

In other roster news, if you're wondering were Matt Albers is, he's still away. He was placed on the Family Medical Emergency List, which is different than the paternity list. Hopefully everything is okay with him and his family in whichever is going on. Albers can miss seven games on the list he's on now, so he will need to return by the weekend.

And in other Minor League news, Jerrud Sabourin of the Mudcats was named the Indians first minor league player of the week for the 2013 season. He's off to a blazing hot start, hitting almost .500 with three doubles.

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