Ubaldo Jimenez struck out five and allowed just two earned runs across 5 1/3 innings of work to lead the Indians to a 4-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Goodyear Ballpark on Monday.
Jimenez was far from perfect, but he was also far from awful too, and his performance ensured that the Indians would have a chance to win the contest. Jimenez now has a 4.91 ERA in 18 1/3 innings this spring.
Other key performances came from catcher Lou Marson and right fielder Drew Stubbs, who each went 2-for-3 to lead the Indians. Though the biggest hit of the afternoon might have belonged to Ezequiel Carrera, who recorded a single in the bottom of the sixth inning, which scored Tyler Holt and put the Indians ahead for good.
- Michael Bourn — CF (Ezequiel Carrera)
- Asdrubal Cabrera — SS (Luis Hernandez)
- Jason Kipnis — 2B (Cord Phelps)
- Nick Swisher — 1B (Chris McGuiness)
- Michael Brantley — LF (Ryan Raburn)
- Mark Reynolds — DH (Matt Carson)
- Lonnie Chisenhall — 3B (Matt Antonelli)
- Drew Stubbs — RF (Tyler Holt)
- Lou Marson — C (Omir Santos)
- Ubaldo Jimenez — 5 1/3 IP
- Jerry Gil — 2/3 IP
- Vinnie Pestano — 1 IP
- Joe Smith — 1 IP
- Scott Barnes — 1 IP
— Well, Ubaldo Jimenez was on the mound, so how can we possibly start with anyone other than the lanky right-hander? Jimenez has now had back-to-back solid, if unspectacular outings. He was very hittable on Monday as he allowed seven hits, and also unfortunately recorded one wild pitch and hit a batter. However, for all the bad, there was plenty of good too. Jimenez notched five strikeouts, but the most important thing may be that he did not seem to mentally implode on the mound. For instance, in the top of the second inning, things went as bad you could expect for Jimenez. He allowed two straight singles before Jean Segura stole a second to put runners on third and second with no outs. A wild pitch by Jimenez would score Logan Schafer, but he then settled down from there. He came back with a strikeout and a popout and while he eventually hit a batter, he managed to get Norichika Aoki to lineout to end the inning. All things considered, it could have been much worse, so you have to tip your cap to Jimenez after this tightrope act.
— Nick Hagadone is the frontrunner for the final left-handed spot in the Indians’ bullpen, but not if Scott Barnes has anything to say about it. Barnes recorded a save on Monday and also struck out two batters in the process. The deceptive left-hander now has a 2.84 ERA in 6 1/3 innings of work. He’s also recorded seven strikeouts against just two walks. Truth be told, either one of these guys would probably make for a great late-innings, left-handed reliever. A lot of fans are clamoring for Barnes to return to the starting rotation, but his stuff just seems to translate so well in the bullpen. That was the case last season, and that’s been the case this spring as well.
— If the Indians do look for help at Triple-A Columbus this season, one of the first players they may look to could beCord Phelps. The switch-hitter hit a line drive triple in the bottom of the eighth inning to score Carrera and give the Indians an extra insurance run on Monday. He has a nice skill set, and his bat certainly plays well in the Majors. Phelps is now hitting .324 in 18 games this spring. If Ryan Raburn struggles, expect Phelps to get the Major League call.
The Indians are off on Tuesday, but right-hander Corey Kluber will pitch in a minor league game at the Indians facility. On Wednesday, the Indians return to action to face the Los Angeles Angels in Tempe, Ariz and right-hander Trevor Bauer will get the start for the Tribe.