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Cleveland Indians pitcher Roberto Hernandez left Monday's game in the third inning, due to an ankle injury.
Starter Roberto Hernandez exited tonight's game with a right ankle sprain (day-to-day)— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 28, 2012
Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, exited after pitching just two and one-third innings. It was just his third start of the season after visa issues and a three-week MLB suspension prevented him from joining the Indians sooner. Hernandez was suspended three weeks for age and identity fraud. The team also adjusted his contract following the scandal, reducing his 2012 salary and eliminating one of the remaining option years.
He allowed three runs and four hits before exiting Monday's game. He has now allowed 12 earned runs in 14.1 innings since returning to the Indians. Hernandez posted a 4.07 ERA in five minor-league rehab starts.
The baseball player formerly known as Fausto Carmona has had a long journey back to the major leagues after it was revealed his real name was Roberto Hernandez, and he was really 31 years old, not 28.
Wednesday, he will return to major-league action. Paul Hoynes:
The Indians have cleared a path for Roberto Hernandez to start Wednesday night against the Angels by placing Josh Tomlin on the 15-day disabled list with a sore right elbow.
The move allows the Indians to keep a 13-man pitching staff with left-hander Chris Seddon, presumably, moving into the bullpen. The Indians have been using a 13-man staff as they try to shake the hangover from their 11-game losing streak that ended a week ago.
Hernandez made five minor-league rehab starts, posting a 4.07 ERA with 20 strikeouts and four walks in 24⅓ innings. He also served a three-week suspension for the age and identity fraud. The Indians are now far out of contention after that long losing streak, but they’ll welcome any pitching help they can get.
Roberto Hernandez, who as you all know by now was once known as Fausto Carmona, has had a long journey back to playing baseball in the USA.
Without boring you once again with all the details, he’s getting closer to returning to the Cleveland Indians:
Indians announce Roberto Hernandez (the former Fausto Carmona) will make rehab start Thursday for Lake County vs. West Michigan.
— DKnobler (@DKnobler) July 24, 2012
Lake County and West Michigan are in the Low-A Midwest League, so he’ll probably get three or four more starts before he gets back to the major leagues. He’s serving a three-week suspension while this rehab assignment goes on, so you can figure the minor-league assignment will last that long. That puts him on target for a return to Cleveland about mid-August. The Tribe still has a shot at one of the wild-card spots, so they’ll welcome him back no matter what his name is now.
“I am extremely remorseful and apologize to the fans, teammates, the team and everybody else who has looked up to me,” he said. “I am extremely happy with the support of the fan base, but do not know what (reaction) to expect.”
Hernandez said he was “very sad all the time,” throughout the ordeal and felt he had let down the Indians. He said the toughest part was repeated rejection each time he went to the U.S. consulate in hopes of his case being resolved.
Hernandez eventually did get that US work visa, redid his Cleveland contract, and now will report for a minor-league rehab assignment, which will coincide with a three-week suspension handed down by Major League Baseball.
The Indians still have a shot at one of the wild-card spots in the American League, just four games back, and so they’ll welcome Hernandez back in mid-August as a part of a rotation that could really use his help.
The pitcher most people still know as Fausto Carmona is actually Roberto Hernandez, and Hernandez is on his way back to the United States.
Hernandez was arrested in the Dominican Republic for using a false identity, specifically the identity of a 28-year-old man named Fausto Carmona. Hernandez is actually 31, and has received a work visa to return to the United States. He will serve a three-week suspension for age and identity fraud before he returns to the Cleveland Indians.
Hernandez is allowed to pitch in the minor leagues during his suspension, rendering it effectively meaningless. He did not attend spring training and would have needed a few starts in the minors before re-joining the Indians in the major leagues anyway. His contract has been re-worked as a result of his age and identity fraud, but he is still under contract with the Indians.
It’s been nearly seven weeks since we last heard of the story of Roberto Hernandez Heredia, who used to pitch for the Cleveland Indians as Fausto Carmona before it was discovered he had stolen an identity (and falsified his age, too) in the Dominican Republic. At that time the pitcher and his agent were working to get him a visa to come back to work in the USA.
Now, it appears that’s close to becoming reality. Jordan Bastian:
According to multiple sources, pitcher Roberto Hernandez is expected to soon be receiving a new visa from the State Department, which would allow the right-hander to return to the United States. Hernandez remains in his native Dominican Republic, where he continues to train at Cleveland’s baseball academy.
“Things are moving forward,” said a person with knowledge of the situation. “It’s looking a lot better right now.”
Carmona/Hernandez’s contract with the Indians was reworked; Bastian’s article says the Indians hope there won’t be a suspension for Carmona/Hernandez, as there has been in the similar case of Leo Nunez/Juan Carlos Oviedo, Marlins pitcher.
Carmona/Hernandez’s name situation is even more confusing because there was a longtime relief pitcher named Roberto Hernandez who retired in 2007, and pitched part of that year for the Indians.
When last we left the saga of Fausto Carmona — now known as Roberto Hernandez Heredia after it was revealed he had stolen an identity in his home country, the Dominican Republic — he had agreed to take a pay cut from the Indians, in no small part because the Tribe learned he was really 28, not 31.
Now, a lobbyist hired by Carmona/Hernandez says he might be back in Cleveland soon. Paul Hoynes:
A lobbyist working on behalf of Roberto Hernandez, the Indians pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona, said he could be back in the United States by the All-Star break.
“I think there is a good chance Roberto could be in Cleveland by the All-Star break,” said Stephen Payne, a visa expert and lobbyist hired by Hernandez’s agents.
Hoynes further reports that Carmona/Hernandez is working out at the team’s facility in the Dominican Republic, and that MLB likely won’t suspend him when he returns to the USA:
The Indians have petitioned the U.S. State Department that the salary cut should serve as punishment enough. It’s believed MLB and the players association feels the same.
It’s confusing enough that Carmona now has the same name as the former reliever who pitched for 10 teams — including the Indians — from 1991 through 2007.
The pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona, now known as Roberto Hernandez Heredia, had been charged with false identity in his home country, the Dominican Republic.
Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic agreed to a deal with Hernandez on Monday to have the false identity charges against him dropped in exchange for the completion of a work program in his home country, according to The Associated Press. Hernandez remains on Major League Baseball’s restricted list.
Not only does he remain on the restricted list, there’s no guarantee he can get the work visa that all foreign players need to work in Major League Baseball. And then there’s this:
Sources: fausto carmona (heredia) contract has been restrcutured/reduced. 2012 salary was lowered and 1 option eliminated
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) March 14, 2012
Carmona/Hernandez’s contract called for him to get $7 million this year and had team option years of $9 million for 2013 and $12 million for 2014. It’s not clear what the current reduction is nor which of the options was eliminated, but it’s certain that he will make less money than he had planned — if he ever gets back to Cleveland to pitch at all.
I refer to him as Not-Fausto Carmona instead of Heredia because I don't think many people are yet comfortable with the name Roberto Hernandez Heredia. It doesn't seem familiar yet. It will in time. Anyway, that guy is still hanging out in the Dominican Republic. He was arrested for using a false identity, you remember, and he was recently placed on baseball's restricted list. What's next? Well, unsurprisingly, Not-Carmona is hoping for a return before long:
The pitcher Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, told The Associated Press he hopes to obtain a judicial pardon and return to the Cleveland Indians this season.
"I'm doing all that is necessary so that when the pardon is granted, I won't have to wait long to play again," he said Wednesday.
Within that article, there are references to Not-Carmona returning "this season" and "this year". There's nothing more specific. I don't know if the expected time frame is somewhere in April, or somewhere in September. I don't know if anybody really knows yet.
One notes that the Indians' rotation is currently full, even without Not-Carmona. That is, if you believe in Kevin Slowey, which, statistically, you might. It's hard to say where Not-Carmona might fit, but it's also hard to say what the pitching staff might look like if and when he's cleared to return.
While in the Dominican, Not-Carmona has been teaching young players about the dangers of assuming a false identity. Hopefully before many of them have already begun assuming false identities.
There's Leo Nunez, who's actually Juan Carlos Oviedo. There's Fausto Carmona, who's actually Roberto Hernandez Heredia. These are not the only two Dominican baseball players to have used fake identities; these are the latest two Dominican baseball players to have used fake identities. At least, they're the latest two Dominican baseball players to have been caught using fake identities.
As you can imagine, when someone is caught using a fake identity, his life becomes an awful lot more complicated. But there's a possibility that this situation could henceforth be a little less complicated. From Dominican Today:
The U.S. State Department could pardon the Dominican baseball players caught with a false identity, said that country's Consul general William Weissman on Tuesday.
"I cannot speak of a particular case because each case is different, but in the case of the ballplayers they could be pardoned," the diplomat said during a cocktail hosted by the U.S. embassy for the Dominican baseball player to promote the program "Alliance for Dominican Development."
The US is always pardoning that turkey. It's always pardoning that damn turkey without even taking into consideration what the turkey might have done. The US could begin pardoning Dominican baseball players who have lied to the government.
Or it could not. It's just a possibility. Weissman draws a distinction between players who own up to their crimes, and players who end up getting caught. Nunez and Carmona, of course, were caught. So.
Dominican players don't adopt fake identities for sinister reasons. They adopt fake identities so as to improve their stock within scouting circles. Maybe that is sinister - it kind of depends on your definition of sinister - but these aren't murderers or drug dealers or generally bad people. They're just people looking to get a shot at a comfortable life. Which isn't to excuse the practice of adopting a fake identity, but it's certainly understandable.
The players formerly known as Fausto Carmona and Leo Nuñez are currently stuck in the Dominican Republic, trying to resolve visa issues after being exposed for lying about their names and ages. Will there be others this winter?
The major league baseball career of the Indians’ 31-year-old righthander Roberto Hernandez Heredia, formerly known as 28-year-old Fausto Carmona, is on hold. ESPN.com, via the Associated Press, reports that Hernandez Heredia/Carmona will miss spring training:
Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta said the pitcher known as Fausto Carmona won’t be making it to spring training.
Acta told The Associated Press late Monday that the team is trying to speed up Carmona’s arrival.
That kind of “speed” might be difficult to do, considering the legal trouble Hernandez Heredia/Carmona is in, in his home country of the Dominican Republic, and the fact that visa issues sometimes delay foreign born players’ arrival at spring training camps even when everything’s on the up and up.
The article indicates that recently acquired Kevin Slowey could be ticketed for Hernandez Heredia/Carmona’s spot in the Tribe’s rotation — which now explains the recent trade in which Slowey was acquired from the Rockies.
For more on the Indians, please visit our SB Nation site Let’s Go Tribe.
So 28-year-old Indians starter Fausto Carmona is actually 31-year-old Roberto Hernandez Heredia. The news is barely a day old, but it already feels much older than that. Maybe it only feels much older than that to me. Anyway.
There's a lot of mystery involved in how this sort of thing takes place. How a player assumes another age and another identity. Courtesy of Mark Schwab - and courtesy of Pedro Gomez - we get a new nugget:
ESPN's Pedro Gomez reports Fake Fausto was paying hush money to the family of the real Fausto. They outed him when he wouldn't up the $ paid
Well isn't that a thing? Hush money! Legitimate scandal!
These fake names - at least most of the time, they're not really fake names. According to Gomez, there is a real Fausto Carmona. It's just that the Fausto Carmona we thought we knew wasn't the real Fausto Carmona. Again, it's reminiscent of what happened with Leo Nunez/Juan Carlos Oviedo:
Oviedo honored his late father's wish when he turned himself into authorities earlier this month, confessing that he had assumed the name and age of a boyhood friend in order to improve his marketability as a young baseball prospect.
Carmona and Nunez didn't make identities up. They assumed other identities, with permission. I'm not sure why ex-Carmona stopped paying his hush money, if that story is true, since he earns a high salary, but I suspect more details will continue to emerge.
Thursday, we found out that Indians starting pitcher Fausto Carmona had been arrested in the Dominican Republic for not being Fausto Carmona. See, 28-year-old Fausto Carmona is actually 31-year-old Roberto Hernandez Heredia. It would be a really interesting story, if it weren't more or less the same story we've heard like dozens of times by now.
In any case, an update? Sure, an update, from Jordan Bastian:
Per AP, pitcher known as Fausto Carmona has been released from jail on bail (around $13K). Apologized to fans/US gov on way out.
Carmona/Heredia is out of jail. That's good. He will continue to be investigated. We don't know exactly where things will go from here, but we can guess, based on the Leo Nunez/Juan Carlos Oviedo example from earlier. Carmona/Heredia probably will not be charged, but he will encounter difficulty returning to the United States, which would make his availability to the Indians a question.
The Indians might explore voiding the pitcher's contract. We'll see. As it stands, I think Jeanmar Gomez is right behind Carmona/Heredia on the starting pitcher depth chart. While the Indians surely wish this never would have happened, the silver lining is that Carmona/Heredia is not really that good.
Fausto Carmona's new age and old name are going to cost him, but here's merely the latest in a long, long, long line of major leaguers who shaved off a birthday or three.
Some time ago, Marlins closer Leo Nunez was arrested in the Dominican Republic for using a false identity. He was found out to be Juan Carlos Oviedo. Thursday, Indians starter Fausto Carmona was arrested in the Dominican Republic for using a false identity. He was found out to be Roberto Hernandez Heredia.
Two random points, or tip of the proverbial iceberg? Let's ask Baseball America's Ben Badler:
Not surprised about Fausto Carmona being older. I've heard that from DR folks in the past. Just surprised he got caught.
People who know how papers get manipulated in the DR are afraid this could get ugly. Don't be surprised to hear another big name caught.
That isn't a vague allusion to a specific player. There is no specific player that Badler has in mind. It's just that, hey, don't be surprised. This happens. It has happened more times than we know, so far. More cases could be discovered, and some of those cases might involve big-name players.
Who are some potential candidates? Let's consult the Baseball-Reference list of players born in the Dominican, and take the actives:
...you know what, actually, let's not do this. You can go over the list on your own.
Thursday, it was revealed that Fausto Carmona had been arrested in the Dominican Republic for using a false identity. It turns out that Carmona's real name is Roberto Hernandez Heredia. But that isn't the whole of it. There's more, and it's worse. From Maximo Baez Aybar:
La edad real de Roberto Hernandez Heredia(a) Fausto Carmona,es 31 anos,no 28.
Which means "The real age of Roberto Hernandez Heredia - Fausto Carmona - is 31 years, not 28." The Indians thought Carmona celebrated his 28th birthday on December 7. In truth, he's got another three years.
Obviously, that damages his stock as a pitcher. 28 is still young enough to make adjustments. By 31, pitchers usually aren't getting better. The Indians hold a $9 million club option for 2013 that they're now more likely to decline than they used to be.
If this is anything like all of the other identity fraud stories, Carmona lied about his age to make himself more appealing to major league scouts and organizations. He was signed by the Indians as an international free agent in 2000. The Indians thought he was newly 17. Now it turns out he was 20. 20-year-olds don't get the same bonuses or the same amount of attention as 17-year-olds.
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Fausto Carmona has reportedly been arrested in the Dominican Republic for using a false identity. It's Leo Nunez all over again!
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