Andy Baskin – Baskin & Phelps – Middays 10am - 2pm on 92.3 The FanBy Andy Baskin | 92.3 The Fan

CLEVELAND – On July 31, 2011 Indians fans questioned what was next for the Tribe.

In his first major move as general manager, Chris Antonetti pulled the trigger on his biggest trade.

The boys were just two games over .500, but just a game and a half back of first place.

Antonetti sent pitchers Alex White, Drew Pomeranz, Joe Gardner, and infielder Matt McBride to the Rockies for pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez.

The Indians ended the season at 80-82 in second place. Jimenez ended the year at 4-and-4, with a 5.10 ERA..

The critics came out ready to bash the front office with “How could the Tribe trade every prospect in the farm system, for this guy who struggles with his velocity?”

Jimenez followed things up with last year’s 9-17 mark and still floated with a 5.40 ERA. Indians fans were ready to hit rock bottom. But they had a glimmer of hope that Jimenez would turn things around with Terry Francona.

Francona has been watching every move Jimenez makes, like a father interviewing his daughter’s first date. It’s working.

Jimenez is starting to payoff for the Indians front office. Since April 21, the Indians have won his last four starts. Jimenez is 3-0 in his last three starts.

Consistency is starting to set in. He shrunk his ERA from 10.06 to 5.55. He’s thrown more than 93 pitches in his last three starts. He is working on back to back 8 strikeout games against Oakland and Detroit. He has just seven walks in his last four games. This comes after a disastrous seven walk game against Boston before this run.

But, lets go back to the start. What happened to the other side of the trade?

Alex White is now with the Houston Astros, and is out for the season. He’s recovering from Tommy John surgery. His career numbers 5-13, 6.03 ERA.

Drew Pomeranz is in Triple-A. He’s 5-0 for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.

Joe Gardner is 3-2 for the Tulsa Drillers in Double-A. His ERA out of the bullpen is 5.06.

Matt McBride is hitting .384 in Colorado Springs with four home runs. He is now a catcher.

So if you’re keeping score at home, the better Jimenez looks this season, the smarter the Indians front office might look down the road, on a deal that “took all the prospects out of the Indians system.”

Colorado has nothing to show for this deal at the big league level today.

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