The Rockies' starting rotation was hurting in August, but right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez came up from the Minors to ease the pain.
Turns out that if Jimenez, 23, didn't have prodigious baseball talent, he would likely be on his way toward easing people's pain for a living.
Jimenez's mother is a nurse in his native Dominican Republic, and his older sister is studying to be a doctor. The Rockies' surprise No. 2 starter said he is fascinated by what they can do for others. The medical profession was his secondary dream.
"I'd probably be starting out in medicine, trying to be a doctor or something," Jimenez said. "I was a good student when I was paying attention in class.
"I don't know what kind of doctor I'd want to be. I'd just want to help people."
Jimenez is enjoying his first extended Major League action with his father, Ubaldo Sr., a retired bus driver for an insurance company. Dad is his roommate and they listen to rap and reggaetone music, shop together and, of course, talk baseball.
Jimenez, who has spent some offseason time in Denver working out at Coors, recently wanted to give his dad a taste of Colorado's popular ski resorts. It backfired.
"I went to the mountains with him," said Jimenez, who has spent time in the mountains before but has no interest in strapping on a pair of skis. "It wasn't that good. It was snowing, and he got a cold.
"Most of my free time, I try to be with my dad. We watch the other games. We go to the mall. We talk about everything."
Jimenez loves to read, play games on PlayStation and surf the Web. Athletically, he said he developed into a pretty good basketball player, but he never played the sport competitively.
The Rockies are just fine with that.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.