Jimenez makes his case
Ubaldo Jimenez would prefer not to be traded. On Tuesday night he did everything he could to let the Rockies know he wants to stay.
After he struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings of the Rockies’ 12-3 victory over the Braves, he was asked in several different ways if he would do anything to stop the club from dealing him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
Well, he can do most anything on the mound. But when it comes to phone conversations between clubs, that’s where his power ends. He is not a general manager or an owner, and he doesn’t have a no-trade provision in his contract as leverage.
He was asked directly would he tell general manager Dan O’Dowd he doesn’t want to be traded.
“I think he already knows,” Jimenez said with an easy laugh. “But like I said before, they’re going to do anything that’s good for the team.”
While we’re on the good-for-the-team subject, something interesting has arisen during his last two starts. For much of this season, the team didn’t do much when he was on the mound. But in two starts after the break, the Rockies have scored 24 runs. Instead of not scoring runs for Jimenez, they’re not scoring runs for other guys.
What’s fueling all of this is the Rockies are not scoring runs and therefore not winning. To deal him, they’re going to have to get back a package of players who will correct the run problem. But they also need a bona fide starting pitcher. It’s not like there is an Ubaldo tree from which the club can pluck another Jimenez.
The question is whether the Rockies are better off letting Jimenez have his bad first two months of this season, and let the team have a bad year, or is the model so broken that they need to scrap it, even if it costs them a pitcher many said could not be developed by an organization that plays at altitude.
And besides pitching the way he has for nearly two months, Jimenez doesn’t have a say in the matter. Besides, if his pitching shows the Rockies how much they need him, it may encourage another team to make an offer the Rockies cant refuse.
He has two more starts — Sunday at Arizona and next July 30 at San Diego — before the deadline.
“I’ll just do what I’ve done the last five days,” Jimenez said. “Even before this game I had heard a lot of things. I got a lot of text messages, a lot of messages on Facebook asking, ‘Are you going to get traded? It’s the same thing. I’m going to keep doing my thing, keep working hard, showing up to the stadium and being myself.
“It’s a really tough situation. I’ll do anything possible not to think about it, but you’re a human being. Once in a while you’re going to think about it. So once the trade deadline passes, if I’m still here, I’m going to be happy about it. I won’t have to worry about that for a little bit.”