GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The numbers tell one story.
The smile tells another.
It's too early in spring to know whether the numbers should be worrisome, whether it matters that Ubaldo Jimenez isn't throwing as hard as he once did, or whether it matters that he is giving up more hits and more runs.
It's not too early to realize that there was more going on with Jimenez and the Rockies than most of us realized last year.
Thursday, after Jimenez gave up two runs in an ugly first inning against the Angels, he spoke glowingly about his current employers (the Indians) and not as glowingly about the team that traded him to Cleveland last July.
"I feel happy here," Jimenez said. "This is like being in heaven for me."
As opposed to Colorado.
Jimenez wouldn't detail all of his issues with the Rockies, but he said they went back to his time in the minor leagues.
"It was kind of hard being with the Rockies," he said. "I went through a lot. People outside the organization don't know."
Jimenez told Foxsports.com earlier this spring that he wasn't happy that when the Rockies gave big new contracts to Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, they didn't do the same with him. Jimenez signed an extension in January 2009, so he's making just $4.2 million this year and has a $5.75 million club option for 2013.
But Jimenez suggested his complaints went far beyond the contract, and the way he talks about the Indians hint at what those complaints were.
"You only hear good things about this organization," Jimenez said. "They treat everyone the same. They don't care how much money you signed for."
Jimenez's first two starts this spring haven't gone well. He gave up five runs in one inning Sunday against the Reds, although four of those runs were unearned. Thursday, he gave up two runs in a 31-pitch, two-walk first inning, then rebounded with a clean second inning.
Jimenez blamed his issues Thursday on a lack of command of his fastball, but his velocity was just 90-94 mph, a little low even in spring training for a guy who at his best is in the high 90s.
For Jimenez, getting through the second start of the spring healthy was an improvement over last year. He hurt his finger in his second start last spring, and the injury seemed to playh a part in his poor start to the season.
After going 6-9 with a 4.46 ERA in 21 starts for the Rockies, Jimenez was traded to the Indians in a deal that cost them two top pitching prospects, Drew Pomeranz and Alex White. Jimenez went 4-4 with a 5.10 ERA in 11 post-trade starts for the Indians.
White made news this spring by getting caught for drunk driving. Pomeranz has begun this spring with five scoreless innings for Colorado.
"[The trade] worked both ways," Jimenez said. "They're happy. I'm happy."
He's happy, and it doesn't even matter to him that the opening day assignment that belonged to him the last two years in Colorado will go to Justin Masterson this year with the Indians.
"He deserved it," Jimenez said. "He earned the spot."