Tag:Drew Pomeranz
Posted on: March 8, 2012 4:35 pm
 

For Jimenez, Indians are 'like being in heaven'

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The numbers tell one story.

The smile tells another.

It's too early in spring to know whether the numbers should be worrisome, whether it matters that Ubaldo Jimenez isn't throwing as hard as he once did, or whether it matters that he is giving up more hits and more runs.

It's not too early to realize that there was more going on with Jimenez and the Rockies than most of us realized last year.

Thursday, after Jimenez gave up two runs in an ugly first inning against the Angels, he spoke glowingly about his current employers (the Indians) and not as glowingly about the team that traded him to Cleveland last July.

"I feel happy here," Jimenez said. "This is like being in heaven for me."

As opposed to Colorado.

Jimenez wouldn't detail all of his issues with the Rockies, but he said they went back to his time in the minor leagues.

"It was kind of hard being with the Rockies," he said. "I went through a lot. People outside the organization don't know."

Jimenez told Foxsports.com earlier this spring that he wasn't happy that when the Rockies gave big new contracts to Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, they didn't do the same with him. Jimenez signed an extension in January 2009, so he's making just $4.2 million this year and has a $5.75 million club option for 2013.

But Jimenez suggested his complaints went far beyond the contract, and the way he talks about the Indians hint at what those complaints were.

"You only hear good things about this organization," Jimenez said. "They treat everyone the same. They don't care how much money you signed for."

Jimenez's first two starts this spring haven't gone well. He gave up five runs in one inning Sunday against the Reds, although four of those runs were unearned. Thursday, he gave up two runs in a 31-pitch, two-walk first inning, then rebounded with a clean second inning.

Jimenez blamed his issues Thursday on a lack of command of his fastball, but his velocity was just 90-94 mph, a little low even in spring training for a guy who at his best is in the high 90s.

For Jimenez, getting through the second start of the spring healthy was an improvement over last year. He hurt his finger in his second start last spring, and the injury seemed to playh a part in his poor start to the season.

After going 6-9 with a 4.46 ERA in 21 starts for the Rockies, Jimenez was traded to the Indians in a deal that cost them two top pitching prospects, Drew Pomeranz and Alex White. Jimenez went 4-4 with a 5.10 ERA in 11 post-trade starts for the Indians.

White made news this spring by getting caught for drunk driving. Pomeranz has begun this spring with five scoreless innings for Colorado.

"[The trade] worked both ways," Jimenez said. "They're happy. I'm happy."

He's happy, and it doesn't even matter to him that the opening day assignment that belonged to him the last two years in Colorado will go to Justin Masterson this year with the Indians.

"He deserved it," Jimenez said. "He earned the spot."


Posted on: June 10, 2011 8:19 pm
 

Even if they fade, Indians are a 2011 success

NEW YORK -- There are two questions worth asking about the Indians, and there's no reason the answer to the two has to be the same.

Question 1: Can the Indians at least stay in the American League Central race all season, and maybe even win it?

Question 2: Will 2011 be a successful year for the Indians?

A lot of people are starting to suspect that the answer to the first question is no. The Tigers are hot, the White Sox may be getting hot, and the Indians' flaws have started to show. Their five-game lead shrunk to a one-game lead in just eight days, and there's every chance that next week's first-place battle in Detroit will begin with the Tigers -- and not the Indians -- in first place.

But even if the Indians never see first place again this year, even if they struggle to hold on with a winning record (they entered the weekend 34-26, after a 30-15 start), there's absolutely no doubt that the answer to the second question is yes.

As much as we talk about the Royals as the rising team in the Central (the team to watch in 2013, as I called them this spring), what's happened in the first 2 1/2 months proves that the Indians are every bit as much a team to watch for the next few years.

I missed that this spring. So did every scout I've talked to who saw the Indians in Arizona.

So, in some ways, did the Indians themselves.

"It's gone quicker than we thought," manager Manny Acta said Friday. "It's fun, because it's actually shortened up the plan."

The key so far has been the development of 25-year-old shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and 24-year-old outfielder Michael Brantley, who now look like players you could build around. Indians veterans say that Cabrera's leadership skills have impressed them every bit as much as his considerable on-field skills.

"He's got that 'it' factor," infielder Adam Everett said. "And it's fun to watch."

Indians players also rave about pitchers Alex White (currently on the disabled list with a finger problem) and Drew Pomeranz (currently at Class A Kinston).

Reliever Chad Durbin, who spent the last three years with the Phillies, said that even this rough stretch will be good for the Indians youngsters.

"It's outstanding for guys to learn how you feel when you win," Durbin said. "But it's also good to learn how to handle it when you don't -- especially when you're in first place. It's different to be a lead horse in any race."

The Indians have been the lead horse in the AL Central since April 7. There's every chance that run at the top will come to an end soon, every chance that this Indians team isn't good enough or ready enough to hang in there all season.

But there's also every reason to think that the Indians will be heard from again very soon.

"It bodes really well," Durbin agreed.

And long-term, that's more important than a couple of months in first place.


Posted on: April 28, 2011 3:47 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 4:34 pm
 

Indians prospect White joins rotation

Alex White is coming to the big leagues.

The Indians announced that White, their top draft pick in 2009, will make his big-league debut Saturday against the Tigers. White takes the place of Carlos Carrasco, placed on the disabled list Thursday with inflammation in his right elbow.

White has a 1.90 ERA in his first four starts at Triple-A Columbus, with five walks and 28 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings. White, whose fastball touches 97 mph, was ranked by Baseball America as the 47th-best prospect in the whole minor leagues.

The Indians don't expect Carrasco to be out long. Club officials said tests show no structural damage, but the team wants to be careful with the 24-year-old, who was part of the 2009 Cliff Lee trade with the Phillies.

The Indians replaced Carrasco on the 25-man roster by recalling Frank Herrmann from Columbus, but Herrmann is a reliever. The team will make another roster move to activate White on Saturday.

White was considered the Indians' top pitching prospect last winter, but club officials are now even more excited about 2010 first-round pick Drew Pomeranz, who is now on a fast track. Pomeranz had a great spring, is off to a good start at Class A Kinston, and will likely be promoted to Double-A soon.


 
 
 
 
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