PHILADELPHIA -- Rockies manager Jim Tracy flatly dismissed concerns that Ubaldo Jimenez was struggling physically from fatigue. Jimenez has struggled in two consecutive starts, allowing 10 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings, and lasted just two innings against the Phillies on Saturday, walking six.
Jimenez is on pace for 224 innings this season, which would be a career high, but not by many; he pitched 218 innings last year. He ranks ninth in the league with 134 1/3 innings this season entering Sunday.
"We could not have been more proactive about that," Tracy said. "If he could get an extra day of rest, we made sure he got it. I've taken I don't know how many questions about whether I thought about letting him go nine. Well, I thought about it and I decided against it. What were we proving to have him go out there and exert himself for another inning and more pitches?
"Honestly, I'm proud of the way we did it. If we had to do it over again, I'd do it the same way."
Jimenez has a 7.64 ERA in his last six starts. In April and May, he was untouchable with a 0.78 ERA, but since then, he's come back to earth with a 5.67 ERA in June and July.
"He's a big, strong, powerful man who has shouldered a burden for this club, and most of it during the first two months of the season," Tracy said. "Is that catching up? Is it more mental? Have we raised the bar? I read publication after publication comparing him to Bob Gibson and Denny McLain. At 26, was he not quite ready for that? Does that play into it?
"Because the bar has been raised so high, we've analyzed and over-analyzed what he's done. He may wind up being comparable to those two guys. I think there's a strong chance that will happen. But maybe that's not fair right now."