MLB Spring Training 2012: Why Ubaldo Jimenez Will Have a Strong 2012 Season

Bill Ford@billfordwritesCorrespondent IIIMarch 8, 2012

DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 26: Ubaldo Jimenez #30 of the Cleveland Indians pitches in the second inning during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 26, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Cleveland Indians' right-handed pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez had a difficult outing in a spring training game on Sunday in an 8-6 loss to the Reds.

Jimenez had hoped to start off with a solid outing, but he surrendered five runs in the first inning on Sunday.

The loss is not entirely his fault. The Tribe's defense did not perform well backing him up by committing two errors, a mistake in fielding by first baseman Russ Canzler and Aaron Cunningham's bad throw from right field.

Those mistakes proved to be costly, as the team allowed five runs in the first inning.

Jimenez threw 25 strikes in 37 pitches of fastballs, sliders and splitters. He had command on the mound with good pitching mechanics.

Manager Manny Acta said that Jimenez threw the ball well, and the Reds did not hit the ball hard. Some of the hits that the Reds got were bloopers that were difficult for fielders to chase down.

Jimenez said that he felt good on the mound, and even though the numbers make it seem as though he did not pitch well, it should be taken into consideration that the Reds kept hitting bloopers and made no really solid contact.

The Indians and the fans all hope that Jimenez will have a comeback season and pitch like he did in 2010, throwing a win-loss record of 19-8, a WHIP of 1.155, 214 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.88 in 221.2 innings pitched.

Jimenez said that his arm feels strong and everything feels like it is at 100 percent. He believes that his injuries prevented him from a successful season last year, but he now believes that those difficulties are behind him.

Although he may not have looked good on paper in the game on Sunday, he feels strong physically and mentally. His confidence appears to be solid, which will help him battle through difficult innings.

The distractions from last season seem to have dissipated in his mind leading him to rebuild his confidence on the mound. That boost in confidence will reflect on his performance.

Once he works out the kinks in spring training, he should have a bounce-back 2012 season.