Fausto “Roberto Hernandez Heredia” Carmona has been cleared of his crimes in the Dominican Republic, but it is still unknown whether he will be allowed to return to the United States after his newly assigned work program has been completed. The real question now is, would the team even want him to?
Even before this news came out, the Indians were looking to shore up their starting rotation after an inconsistent season. Ubaldo Jimenez was brought in towards the end of the regular season and Derek Lowe immediately after, basically setting up a starting four (Justin Masterson, Jimenez, Josh Tomlin and Lowe) that Carmona wouldn’t be able to touch. Immediately after the news came out, the Indians made another move as insurance in case Carmona couldn’t come back by trading for Kevin Slowey.
The Indians have shown which pitchers they want to see work the most work this Spring as the only pitchers who have started games are David Huff, Jimenez, Masterson, Slowey and Lowe. Tomlin has thrown five innings in relief and Zach McAllister has thrown four. While it will take a little while longer to see which pitchers are the best fit for the rotation, it is unlikely with this many options that there won’t be five options better than Fausto.
Even if Carmona did return today, he would already be a week behind the other pitchers as far as actual games go and three weeks behind in training. Even with this new news we shouldn’t expect him back anytime soon. Of course you cannot predict the future and if the Indians starting staff is struggling and Fausto gets his visa by the All-Star break he could be given another chance to make it. Who knows, maybe all his head problems were caused by the worry that his second name would be revealed and with it out in the open he will be able to relax. If he is able to come back later in the year he could be a great addition, especially if the team is dealing with the usually injury problems.
The good news is that the Indians do not need Fausto “Roberto Hernandez Heredia” Carmona in the rotation to compete this season and do not have to pay him anything until he returns to the team. If and when he does return, he could either help the team by pitching or could probably be released with little cost to the team. The Indians continue to hold their line, that they are undecided about what to do, but are keeping an eye on the situation.