Cleveland Indians

Ubaldo Jimenez Suspended for Plunking Troy Tulowitzki

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
Zachary D. RymerMLB Lead WriterApril 2, 2012

Major League Baseball has decided to punish Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez for daring to hit one of his old teammates during a spring training game.

According to Jon Morosi of FoxSports.com, MLB has suspended Jimenez five games for drilling former Colorado Rockies teammate Troy Tulowitzki on Sunday:

BREAKING: #MLB suspends Ubaldo Jimenez for five games. No word yet on whether he will appeal.

— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) April 2, 2012

Jimenez hit Tulowitzki in the left elbow in the first inning of Sunday's exhibition between the Indians and Rockies. Heated words were exchanged immediately after, and it wasn't long before benches cleared.

UPDATE: Tuesday, April 3 at 3:50 p.m. ET

According a report from the Associated Press, Jimenez has decided to appeal his suspension. Indians manager Manny Acta said on Tuesday that Jimenez "is going to be able to pitch, and then we'll go from there."

His first start of the season is slated to come on Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

Jimenez tried to brush the incident off by saying he hadn't established control of his fastball yet, according to The Plain Dealer. Rockies manager Jim Tracy was not convinced that the plunking of his star shortstop was a mere accident, and he made waves when he said (see The Denver Post) that it was "the most gutless act I have seen in 35 years of professional baseball."

The story goes that Jimenez was upset at not being signed to a contract extension when he was with the Rockies, who gave lucrative extensions to Tulowitzki and to star outfield Carlos Gonzalez. When he was traded to Cleveland in 2011, he said it was like being in "heaven."

Tulowitzki took exception to that, and he suggested that Jimenez was a bad teammate when he was in Colorado.

On Monday, Jimenez said he didn't think a suspension was warranted, and he stuck to his guns about the incident being no big deal.

"I shouldn't be suspended," Jimenez said, according to ESPN.com. "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 is second in Cleveland's rotation behind Justin Masterson, according to The Plain Dealer.

 

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