MLB: Ubaldo Jimenez Suspended 5 Games for Striking Troy Tulowitzki with Pitch

J CookCorrespondent IApril 2, 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

Sour grapes are going to cost Ubaldo Jimenez some pocket change following the five game suspension handed down by MLB senior vice president Joe Garagiola Jr. Jimenez was unapologetic for what could only be seen as purposefully throwing at former teammate Troy Tulowitzki during a spring training game.

The Associated Press reported this evening that Jimenez will be suspended the first five games of the 2012 season after intentionally throwing at Tulowitzki, striking him in the left elbow during the Cleveland Indians vs. Colorado Rockies game on Sunday. 

Jimenez has expressed his distaste for the trade that sent him to Cleveland from Colorado and apparently didn't feel bad about striking his former teammate with a pitch that clearly came loose from the onset.

 "Players are hit by pitches every day," Jimenez said Monday. "With a guy like him, you have to go inside. I can't get the ball to go where I want every time."

Seems simple enough to say, but is that really the stance that Jimenez is going to take on his wild pitch? If it wasn't done with intention, could a simple apology make it all go away?

"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."

Apparently not, as the bad blood between Tulowitzki and Jimenez rages on.

Jimenez is not the pitcher that he once was; two years ago, he was smoking hot at the beginning of the season, going 15-1 before the All-Star break. As the best in the game up to that point, he got the nod to start the Midsummer Classic for the National League. Since that time he hasn't even won 15 games. 

Following the All-Star break of 2009, Jimenez is 14-20 and has shown a loss in his velocity and control as a result of struggling to find the strike zone. 

His start to 2012 has been a parlaying of his previous struggles, posting a 7.43 ERA and winning only one game while dropping four. He's given up 30 hits and walked and struck out an equal number of 15, not the type of ratio you want for a pitcher trying to find his way back.

Jimenez has struggled mightily, and it seems his struggles on the mound may have gotten the best of his wits on Sunday afternoon.