The Cleveland Indians have been in close contact with pitcher Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausta Carmona, throughout his lengthy legal proceeding in the Dominican Republican stemming from false identity charges.
Hernandez is completing a work program in the Dominican Republic as part of a deal to have charges dropped while he continues to deal with visa problems. According to General Manager Chris Antonetti, the Indians have set up a throwing program for Hernandez similar to what their pitchers are doing in spring training camp. Via Jordan Bastian of MLB.com:
"As best we can, we've tried to simulate a Spring Training environment for him down there," Antonetti said. "So, if and when we get clarity about his status, and he's able to travel to the United States, he hopefully won't be too far behind."
Hernandez was the opening day starter for Cleveland last season and will certainly be in the back end of the Indians rotation if and when he returns to the club. Last season, Hernandez started 32 games for the Indians, registering an ERA of 5.25. He has sent tape of his throwing sessions to manager Manny Acta.
"If he didn't have this issue, he would've been in our rotation," Acta said. "So I don't think any of this changes the plans. It's him getting over here, showing us that he is in good enough shape to compete and then we'll go from there."