SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki emerged with no structural damage to his left elbow Sunday after being hit by a pitch by former teammate Ubaldo Jimenez in an incident that emptied the Rockies' and Indians' benches.Jimenez, facing his old team for the first time since being traded last season in a move that left hard feelings, drilled Tulowitzki with the first pitch of his at-bat in the first inning. "I saw the catcher set up inside and at that point I thought something might happen," Rockies pitcher Jeremy Guthrie said. "It did."
At first, the Indians said Jimenez would not speak to reporters and called it the "organization's decision," but Jimenez eventually called reporters to the clubhouse. The righty was seen pounding his chest and approaching the plate after the pitch, but said it was only after Tulowitzki yelled at him from the batter's box."I was trying to go inside on him," Jimenez said. "That's probably the weakest point that he has. Then the ball just got away. The thing that I did was because he was calling me. I'm a man. I try to relax every time, but I'm a man. If somebody calls me out, I have to go.
"I definitely wasn't happy about getting hit," Tulowitzki said. "I don't think you ever are. It was back and forth. To say it was just me is wrong."
Rockies manager Jim Tracy called Jimenez's hitting Tulowitzki and following it up by stepping toward him "the most gutless act I've seen in 35 years in baseball," and he called for Major League Baseball to take action.
"He intentionally threw at him," Tracy said. "He should be suspended. I'm going to be very disappointed if he doesn't."
Throughout Spring Training, hard feelings between Jimenez and the Rockies have simmered. In various interviews, Jimenez said he was upset that the Rockies gave lucrative contract extensions to Tulowitzki and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez after the 2010 season.The pitcher also called Cleveland "heaven" in comparison to pitching in the Colorado organization, and he hinted at the unfair treatment as he worked his way up the Rockies' farm system. Jimenez did not receive an extension. In response, Tulowitzki and Gonzalez were quoted this spring as saying they were upset that Jimenez spent last season looking to be traded. Tulowitzki signed a seven-year, $134 million extension, and Gonzalez signed a seven-year, $80 million contract to avoid arbitration after monster years in 2010. Jimenez signed for four years and $10 million before the 2009 season. Jimenez went 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA, started for the National League in the All-Star Game and threw the first no-hitter in Rockies history in 2010. He went 6-9 with a 4.46 ERA before last year's trade. There were also accusations that Jimenez did not work as hard as he could have to prepare for the season. Jimenez suffered a finger injury and a groin injury during Spring Training. "Last year was a roller coaster, because I didn't know what I had before I pitched a game. I didn't know what I had physically. I know I wasn't 100 percent. Sometimes I felt good, sometimes I didn't. So it was hard," Jimenez said to Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla last week. "There were too many things last year. There were people saying that I probably wasn't ready because of the contract. ... But I know what I did. I know how hard I worked to get ready every single day." "If someone doesn't want to be here," Tulowitzki said Friday, "we always say, 'Please, go up to the manager and tell him you want to leave or that you don't think this is the best place for you.' That was kind of the case with him. "He has come out and said there were some contract issues after CarGo and me got paid. It doesn't make any sense to me. He had signed his deal and had years left on it. Why would we give him something new when we didn't see anything out of him?" Gonzalez was scratched from Sunday's lineup because of a stomach ailment. Earlier this spring, after Jimenez had revealed his displeasure with the Rockies to FOXSports.com columnist Tracy Ringolsby, Gonzalez and Tulowitzki fired back in a story by CBSSports.com columnist Scott Miller. Gonzalez questioned Jimenez's contract strategy. "The problem was, we all had great seasons [in 2010]," Gonzalez said. "Tulo got an extension, I got an extension and he didn't because he was under contract. He took a contract earlier than me and Tulo. "Sometimes, you make decisions that hurt you later. You have to realize that no one forces you to do anything in this game. Every decision you make is going to be there for the rest of your life. "Once you make a contract decision, it's always going to be there. As players, we just need to be smart about it. When you decide to sign a contract, you have to be smart about it." The Rockies traded Jimenez to the Indians for pitchers Drew Pomeranz, Alex White and Joe Gardner and catcher-utility man Matt McBride on July 31. On that day, Jimenez was scheduled to pitch against the Padres. As the game began, the trade was still being finalized and Colorado sent Jimenez out to pitch the first inning. Rockies manager Jim Tracy tried to diffuse the issue Saturday. "Go back to 2007, go back to 2009 and go back to the first half of 2010, there were some special days out there on the field with him on the mound," Tracy said. "I just really wish that all the other stuff ... let's get that put to bed, because it's not doing anybody any good. It was over and done with at the end of July last year. Everybody needs to move on."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. Jordan Bastian contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.