Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rock Solid Recrap: Ubaldo?

Well, there's no way to dance around the issue at hand with Ubaldo Jimenez. His struggles right now are shocking on some levels and very frightening on many others. Mostly because nobody seems to know what, if anything, is wrong with him.

(If the Rockies have any suspicions they surely aren't saying anything.)

I hate to speculate in any direction, but I can't help but wonder if the cuticle is still weighing heavily on his mind. Like he's afraid to really dig in for fear of ripping the thumb open again. If so, that would help explain the lack of command, because it's extremely difficult to command the baseball when you're not gripping it properly.

It would make sense given the reoccurring nature of the injury. But the next issue would be if he's not using the right grip, is he leaving himself open to injury another way? The Rockies need to keep a close eye on all these factors.

But the most important thing is Ubaldo has to be honest with the Rockies. If there is something bothering him, whether it be mental or physical, he needs to tell them. They can't keep running a guy out there who's incapable of helping the team. I don't care what success a pitcher has attained in the past, they have to make decisions with their short-term and his long-term future in mind.

By the way, this is why you don't see teams handing out big contracts to pitchers after one good season. Not that we Rockies fans needed the reminder.

Pirates 8, Rockies 4 (boxscore)

-- Esmil Rogers had another awful first inning (4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB). Unfortunately his first inning today was the fifth inning, and it pretty much sealed the Rockies fate.

-- But good innings were turned in by Franklin Morales, Matt Lindstrom, Matt Reynolds and Felipe Paulino. So all was not a loss with the pitching staff.

-- Time for the obligatory Todd Helton can still hit comment. Because guess what, Todd Helton can still hit.

-- More good at-bats from Dexter Fowler. Excellent at-bats. Two hits, two RBI, a walk and a run. Where would the offense be without him? Seriously?

-- And I think that covers today. Rockies get yet another off day tomorrow before opening up in Arizona on Tuesday. Hopefully the start of a third straight winning road trip to open the season.

Lineup Card: 5-1-11 Rockies vs Pirates

If you're looking for Rockies game lineups and you don't feel like searching all over Twitter or waiting for to post them, check back to Heaven & Helton about 60-90 minutes before first pitch. They should be here waiting for you.

Yesterday's Recap: One great outing and one big swing

Colorado Rockies (17-8)
  1. CF Dexter Fowler
  2. 2B Alfredo Amezaga
  3. 1B Todd Helton
  4. SS Troy Tulowitzki
  5. LF Carlos Gonzalez
  6. RF Seth Smith
  7. 3B Jose Lopez
  8. C   Chris Iannetta
  9. P   Ubaldo Jimenez 
The Alfredo Amezaga Era (Part 2) is underway. Good day off for Jonathan Herrera though. Even with the two day break you could see he was a little behind on some pitches and not completely the guy we saw earlier. That's the concern with a guy his size. Wouldn't surprise me if they're aggressive in getting him more days off going forward.

Pittsburgh Pirates (12-15)
  1. CF Andrew McCutchen
  2. LF Xavier Paul
  3. RF Garrett Jones
  4. 2B Neil Walker
  5. 1B Lyle Overbay
  6. C   Ryan Doumit
  7. 3B Pedro Alvarez
  8. SS Ronny Cedeno
  9. P   Charlie Morton
Don't underestimate Charlie Morton. He seems to have turned a corner this season and is pitching up to the potential Pittsburgh traded for and has been waiting for a couple years to see.