Big Pieces of Trade In Play Over Weekend
By Matt Van Wormer
When the Indians swung the deal for Ubaldo Jimenez before the July 31st trade deadline, the reaction was split about 50/50 across baseball and even here at DTTWLN?. Many thought the Indians were giving up too much with their prospects while others felt that they were giving up the unknown for a sure thing. All three of the main parts of that trade were in action this weekend as Alex White and Drew Pomeranz both started for the Rockies and Jimenez hit the mound for the Tribe.
Let’s start with the “Player to be Named Later” in Drew Pomeranz who may have been the lynch pin of the deal. To put it succinctly, Pomeranz looked great. He threw five innings, giving up just two hits and no runs while striking out two and walking the same number of batters. The young lefty pitched like the prospect that he was thought to be in earning the victory in his first Major League start. Also, while it didn’t lead to a run as the Rockies would have liked, Pomeranz laid down a text-book sacrifice bunt in his only plate-appearance of the game.
His one inconsistency was his control. Of the 63 pitches he threw, only 58% of his pitches (36) went for strikes. But still, with just two walks, he was able to stay out of trouble. The only danger he faced was in the top of the third when he had runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. However, Pomeranz was able to induce a double-play ball from Edgar Renteria which ended the Cincinnati threat.
Alex White didn’t fare as well as Pomeranz. While he did earn the victory for his five innings of work, he gave up seven runs (six earned) in the process. The Reds hit him hard and his own team’s offense is really what earned White the “W.” The Reds tagged him for five Home Runs which accounts for more than half of the eight hits that White gave up. White didn’t have the command trouble that Pomeranz had, walking just one Reds hitter and throwing 64% strikes (55 of 87 pitches). White is now 2-1 with an ERA of 8.18 in his time with the Rockies.
As for the Indians acquisition, Ubaldo Jimenez did not look like the Cy Young winner he once was. In his start on Sunday, Jimenez walked five White Sox hitters, struck out just two and gave up two earned runs while earning the victory on the south side of Chicago. Jimenez has not seemed to have his accuracy since coming to Cleveland. Of the 105 pitches he threw, only 60 caught the strike zone (58%) but he did get an 0-1 start against 16 of the 26 hitters he faced.
In eight starts since the trade, Jimenez is 3-2 with a 4.98 ERA which he has brought down all the way from 9.00 after his first start in an Indians uniform. While he hasn’t been an innings eater, Ubaldo has thrown less than 100 pitches just once since coming over from Colorado. He has got to bring his walk total down if he is going to be a successful pitcher for the Tribe.
So, what is the verdict? I’d bet that if you polled 100 Clevelanders, it would still come down to a 50/50 split, or somewhere close. If Jimenez can get his wildness under control and lead the Indians to the playoffs in 2012, we will be the winner. If White and Pomeranz do the same for the Rockies next year while the Indians flounder and struggle all year, the Rockies will seem to have taken the cake. Right now, however, the jury is still out and it will definitely take a few years to see just who got the better end of this deal. Me? I think that the move the Indians made was a bold one and the right move to make at that time.
Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images