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Monday Rockpile: Ubaldo's Departure Sentimental, Even To the Pragmatists

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Later, man. We had some fun. I remember that one pitch you threw to Juan Uribe. It was awesome. Go do well in Cleveland, we'll hopefully see you back again in FA.
Later, man. We had some fun. I remember that one pitch you threw to Juan Uribe. It was awesome. Go do well in Cleveland, we'll hopefully see you back again in FA.

Losing Ubaldo Jimenez: When You Aren't Just Rooting For Laundry - SB Nation Denver

Welcome to the absolute hardest part of rooting for a team whose organizational philosophy is to build from within: attachment.

Matt Holliday, I never really liked him. I loved his bat, I rooted for him in the MVP voting, and it was awesome to see him and Garrett Atkins on the simultaneous rise in 2006. But the minute he hired Scott Boras as his agent, his skin turned green and he grew horns.

I loved Jason Jennings during his tenure with the Rockies, but I never was really THAT high on the guy. I loved that he put up one of the franchise-low ERAs in 2006, and I was PISSED when the trade went down, but ultimately I came to grips with it. Something about Jennings just didn't seem like he was the organization's guy. It took a short while to get over it, but I eventually came to comfortable grips with the return and never looked back.

But Ubaldo...man. That guy. He was the only player aside from Todd Helton that I let myself get really attached to. You just want him, Ubaldo Jimenez, to succeed, regardless of uniform, but part of me wanted him to suck a little more so that we could keep him forever. Like the reverse of a contract year player - he'd be awesome in non-contract years and awful in the contract year and we just keep extending him forever on a Tim-Wakefield-esque perpetual $4M option.

There was just something ABOUT Ubaldo that made him bigger than roughly anyone else we've ever watched, aside from probably Helton.

All through his minor league career, he'd always be the highlight of any minor league report. Farmhounds would always talk about what this kid had, all them tools and weapons and stuff.

"You just wait until this Ubaldo Jimenez kid comes up. He's gonna be a freaking stud."

Then he came up and saved the 2007 season and 3-hit the Red Sox in a 2-1 loss.

Then he posted the ever-rare sub-4 ERA in his last start of the season (I remember sitting with my roommate trying to figure out what combination of IP and ER he could allow and finish below a 4.00 ERA).

Then he freaking started the All Star Game and finished 3rd in the Cy Young voting.

And now he's gone.

So now I'm left with the weird situation of suddenly having to welcome in Drew Pomeranz and Alex White to the rotation. Sure, I love their expected production, but I feel like a mother wolf trying to love Mowgli as much as one of our own.

More reactions after the jump.

Off Topic

Jimenez deal forces closer look at prospect value - MLB - Yahoo! Sports

I don't think the Rockies can do anything to please Jeff Passan.

Wait, strike that. It's irrelevant what the Rockies do, Jeff just doesn't want good players playing for the Rockies. That must be it. Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez sign giant extensions with the Rockies? Should've been with the Yankees. Rockies trade Ace for top prospects? Good for Cleveland, Colorado just took on all the risk in the world.

Ok, so I'm not really mad at Passan. I typically like the guy alright. but come on, the Rockies got a solid return as far as baseball analysis goes, can't we just say that as well? Can't this be a win-win? I mean, it's obviously too early to really nail anything down, but how come we can't say "well what if this is the next John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander" where the Indians get a lot of value out of Ubaldo Jimenez and the Rockies end up with a future Hall of Famer in Drew Pomerantz? Ok maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.

 

Which Ubaldo Jimenez did the Indians Acquire? - Beyond the Box Score

What about this possibility: that we traded as high as we were ever going to be able to on Ubaldo Jimenez? What if that decreased velocity and increased hittability wasn't just bad luck or statistical variation, what if he actually is more hittable, and the Rockies just got a monstrous return on a guy who may already be on the downslope of his career?

We've all brushed Ubaldo's velocity drop and increased hittability under the rug a bit. Not to say that those are the only things important for a pitcher, but they're things that need to be taken into consideration still. Over his past 14 starts (yes, arbitrary endpoints, I know), and not including the actual Saturday "start", Ubaldo posted a 3.41 ERA, struck out 86 batters to only 25 walks, good for a 2.99 FIP. He also gave up roughly 21% line drives and a BABIP of .323. I don't really know where I'm going with this, so we just have to wait and see. Ultimately, the production is what teams want, by whatever means chosen to evaluate said production.