The umpires in Sunday’s spring training contest involving the Cleveland Indians and Colorado Rockies didn’t think Ubaldo Jimenez’s drilling of Troy Tulowitzki warranted an ejection. However, after reviewing the situation, Major League Baseball believed there was intent involved and slapped Jimenez with a five-game suspension.
Jimenez threw a pitch in tight to Tulowitzki that connected with his left elbow. Tulowitzki immediately took several steps toward the mound but was cut off by the Indians catcher and home plate umpire. Jimenez started jogging toward Tulowitzki while gesturing him to bring it on. Both benches cleared, though no fighting actually took place.
The Rockies cried foul and requested that Jimenez be suspended. Jimenez said the pitch wasn’t intentional. Instead, he claimed he was just trying to go inside on his former teammate. MLB judged otherwise, and Jimenez was handed down the five-game ban.
It appears that Jimenez will appeal the ruling and the Indians are still claiming the right-hander is slated to start his first game of the season this Saturday. If he were to drop the appeal and start the suspension once the season begins, the Indians could get by using a four-man rotation until Jimenez is eligible to return.
For more on the Indians and Rockies, be sure to check out Wahoo’s on First and Rox Pile.