Ubaldo Jimenez says he won’t apologize to Troy Tulowitzki after hitting his former teammate in the left elbow with a pitch.
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Jimenez also doesn’t think he should be suspended for drilling the Colorado Rockies’ star shortstop and that his primary concern is being ready for the season with the Cleveland Indians.
”I shouldn’t be suspended,” Jimenez said Monday before Cleveland’s final Cactus League game against Cincinnati. ”Players are hit by pitches every day. With a guy like him, you have to go inside. I can’t get the ball to go where I want every time.”
Jimenez said he would not reach out to Tulowitzki. Earlier this spring, Jimenez revealed he was unhappy in Colorado before being dealt to Cleveland last July. Tulowitzki later was quoted as saying the former All-Star should get over it.
”He was calling me names,” Jimenez said. ”I already said I didn’t want to hit him. I had five walks. It’s not the first time somebody (was) hit.”
On Sunday, both benches emptied, but no punches were thrown. Tulowitzki went to the hospital for X-rays, which were negative. Fans soundly booed Jimenez over his five-inning stint and ballpark officials provided extra security for him after he left the game. There were no reported incidents.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy termed it the most gutless act he had seen in 35 years in the game and called for a suspension. Commissioner Bud Selig was at the game.
”I can’t control what people say,” Jimenez said. ”Yes, I was surprised he said that. But that’s OK.
”Everything is behind me. I’m glad this is over and now we go to the season.”
Two years ago, Jimenez was 15-1 for the Rockies at the All-Star break, and he was the NL starter for the midsummer classic. He has gone 14-20 since. He was not sharp this spring, going 1-4 with a 7.43 ERA. In seven Cactus League starts, he had as many walks as strikeouts, 15, and allowed 30 hits in 23 innings.
After a bad outing against Cincinnati on March 17, Indians manager Manny Acta said, ”It’s time to get it in gear,” about Jimenez, whose velocity was lagging.
Jimenez’s fastball was timed at 95 mph in his next start against San Diego, but his overall performance has not approached what the Indians expected when they dealt four minor-league prospects, including two former first-round picks, for the 28-year-old.
”Until (Sunday), I was improving,” Jimenez said. ”I feel good. I’m ready to pitch. Hopefully, I can get off to a good start.”