GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Ubaldo Jimenez might be ready to put his disastrous season of 2012 behind him.
Sunday, he gave up three runs, four hits and one walk in seven innings, as the Indians lost to the Cubs 4-3 at Goodyear Ballpark today.
“”The progression continues for him,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “”He could have kept pitching , but I wanted to get Cody (Allen) in the game. So Ubaldo finished up in the bullpen. He continues to build. He’s been working on his delivery, and the results are showing up.’’
One feature of Jimenez’s start was a sinker that produced nine ground ball outs.
“”Even if they square the ball up, it’s hard to keep the ball off the ground when he’s right,’’ Francona said. “”He doesn’t have to pitch to the sides of the plate. If he’s down with his pitches, he’s going to have success.’’
Chris Perez, idled by a shoulder strain since early in camp, probaby will start the season on time.
Perez has been idled by a shoulder strain but has been working his way back, pitching an inning against the Dodgers’ Class A team at the minor-league complex on Saturday.
Until now, Francona has been noncommittal about the probability of Perez being ready for the season opener.
Asdrubal Cabrera will be absent for at least a couple of days because of back spams..
“”He was swinging in the cages and tweaked his back,’’ Francona said. “”It’s a silly time of year to play through it. I’d say he’ll miss two games.’’
Matt Carson probably will remain out of action today after suffering a cut on his forehead and neck strain when he slid head first into an outfield fence last week.