CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Wednesday night marks the MLB debut for Indians pitcher, Roberto Hernandez.
Well, at least technically speaking.
Roberto Hernandez Heredia, the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona, will make his first Major League start of the 2012 season for the Indians Wednesday night against the Angels in Anaheim
Hernandez was caught using a false identity in the Dominican Republic this past off season, and after a long legal process he was finally allowed to return to the United States last month. Hernandez has finished serving a two-week suspension that was issued by Major League Baseball, and was reactivated by the Cleveland Indians Tuesday evening.
The former All-Star has a record of 53-66 and a lifetime ERA of 4.59 in his Major League career as Fausto Carmona.
In his Minor League rehab starts, Hernandez had 20 strikeouts and four walks in 24 1/3 innings pitched. He made two starts for the Single-A Lake County Captains and two starts for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers.
The Indians are hoping that Hernandez comes back in the form of his 2007 self, a year in which his 19 wins led him to AL-MVP and Cy Young consideration and his team to a post-season birth. Even if that is the case, it’s simply too little, too late.
Hernandez has broken the trust of the Indians front office, teammates and fanbase, but his performance on the mound the rest of the season will dictate his future with the team. If he struggles right out of the gate, it’s hard to see the Indians giving him much more opportunity to prove himself, based on his inconsistent track record as a pitcher, and less-than desirable decision making skills.
Unless Hernandez shows without a shadow of a doubt, that he can produce for the Indians the way he did in 2007 and 2010, there probably won’t be a future for him with this team beyond this season. Either way the front office will have a decision to make in the coming weeks.
The Indians restructured Hernandez’s contract in light of his identity scandal, and are free to cut ties with him after the 2012 season if they chose to, which is the most likely scenario.
Aside from the issues with his identity, Hernandez has been more of a headache, than help to this young team, who will probably end up with another gaping hole in the starting rotation for 2013.