Ubaldo hopes performance makes U-turn
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It was mostly quiet at the Indians' Spring Training complex on Sunday morning, but pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez made a point of stopping by to get in a quick workout. Jimenez is doing everything possible to correct all that went wrong last season.
"Hopefully this year is going to be different," Jimenez said. "Last year my mechanics were terrible. It was a mess."
During the offseason, in the Dominican Republic, Jimenez once again worked out regularly with Nelson Perez, a strength coach for the Indians. New manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway also made trips to the D.R. to get a first-hand look at the pitcher and to begin establishing a rapport.
Jimenez appreciates that Francona and Callaway went to see him, and was impressed with Francona's efforts to reach out to Cleveland players since being hired in October.
"Definitely, that says something about him," Jimenez said. "That shows the kind of person that he is. He wants to be there for everybody. When he was named the manager, he sent me a text message, and I know he did the same with all the guys. He really wants to establish a relationship with all the players."
In 2012 the 29-year-old Jimenez went 9-17 with a 5.40 ERA in 31 outings (176 2/3 innings), with 143 strikeouts, 95 walks and 16 wild pitches. In parts of two years with the Tribe, the right-hander has gone 13-21 with a 5.32 ERA in 42 appearances.
General manager Chris Antonetti expressed faith in Jimenez's ability to smooth out his mechanics.
"I think he still has great stuff and the ability to be a very effective Major League starting pitcher," Antonetti said. "But as we've talked about, the thing that's the key for him is consistency. It starts with his ability to execute his delivery consistently.
"I know he and Mickey have already spent time together this winter. Mickey feels like [Jimenez] is in a better spot now, and Ubaldo feels he's in a better spot now than he was at this point last year. Hopefully that leads to more success."