GLENDALE, Ariz.: Ubaldo Jimenez has settled into a good groove his past two outings, including Wednesday, as the Indians defeated the Chicago White Sox 5-2 at Camelback Ranch.
“Ubaldo was pretty good,” manager Terry Francona said. “He really didn’t throw his off-speed pitches for strikes, but he only gave up two runs. I really hope that proves to him he can live pretty much with that fastball.”
Jimenez gave up seven hits, did not walk a batter and struck out three in five innings. He was so efficient with his pitches that he had to throw 14 more in the bullpen after he was through to make his quota.
“That’s a good thing,” Francona said.
In his past two starts, Jimenez has allowed three runs in nine innings, walking none and striking out eight. His only negative: He gave up a total of nine hits in those games.
For the spring, Jimenez has thrown 13 innings in four outings, compiling a 5.54 ERA and giving up 19 hits but only three walks and has struck out nine.
Matt Albers, Bryan Shaw, Nick Hagadone and Jerry Gil each pitched one scoreless inning. Hagadone has yet to allow a run in five innings.
New glove for Phelps?
Francona said that Cord Phelps will be asked to learn a new position.
“We talked to him this morning about moving around the infield to help him make the team and for his future,” Francona said. “So he’s going to take ground balls at first.”
If Phelps learns the fine art of playing first, he will have third, second and first covered. Francona has no plans to ask him to play short, which is well covered.
Phelps homered with a runner on base to give him two for the spring. He is batting .333 in exhibition games.
Lonnie Chisenhall had two hits, including a double, and Asdrubal Cabrera, in his first game back from the WBC, had a double and two RBI.
Herrmann to miss season
Frank Herrmann visited Dr. David Altchek in New York on Tuesday for a third opinion on his aching right elbow and stayed to have surgery Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery.
Altchek, the medical director for the New York Mets and a consultant to the NBA, performed reconstruction of the ulnar collateral ligament. Herrmann is not expected to return to the mound for 12-18 months.
He has not pitched since Feb. 25 against the Oakland Athletics. Herrmann was competing for a spot in the bullpen.
Daisuke Matsuzaka has no leftover issues because of a cramp in his calf, which forced him out of his last game.
“It was just a cramp, he’s fine,” Francona said. “But we have to see where we can slot him. We’re starting to have innings issues, and we have to sift through things to find a spot to put him in.”
The Indians return to Goodyear, Ariz., to play the Kansas City Royals today. Zach McAllister will start for the Indians against Jeremy Guthrie.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.