CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Indians made a move with the pitcher they've only known for the last 11-plus years as Fausto Carmona.
Arrested last week in the Dominican Republic on false identity charges, Carmona was placed on baseball's restricted list Thursday by the club. The Indians had to apply to the commissioner's office in order to have Carmona placed on the list due to his unusual legal entanglement.
Players on the restricted list do not count against a team's 25- or 40-man roster and will not be paid until they report.
Players can remain on the list for two years.
Carmona was arrested outside the U.S. consulate in Santo Domingo last week and charged with falsifying his name and birthdate so he could play for the Indians, who signed him as a free agent in 2000. Authorities in his homeland revealed Carmona's real name is Roberto Hernandez Heredia and that he's 31 — three years older than the Indians believed.
Carmona's date of birth is listed as Dec. 7, 1983, in Cleveland's media guide, meaning he was 17 when he signed.
He was released from jail on bail around US$13,000 on Friday and was ordered to stay in the Dominican to complete his judicial process. The Indians report to training camp next month, but it appears unlikely Carmona will have his case resolved by then.
In the meantime, the club will continue to refer to him as Carmona.
Carmona, who is scheduled to make $7 million this season, was slotted be in the middle of the Indians' starting rotation with Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Masterson, Josh Tomlin and Derek Lowe. In case Carmona's legal trouble keeps him away for an extended period. the Indians acquired starter Kevin Slowey in a trade with Colorado.
Earlier this week, Indians manager Manny Acta said the team is doing all it can to help Carmona, who has had an erratic career since going 19-8 in 2007. The club has been gathering information as it tries to work through the complexities of Carmona's situation, which came to light four months after Miami Marlins pitcher Leo Nunez, whose real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo, admitted using false documents when he was young to sign a professional contract.
Oviedo, too, is on the restricted list. He is co-operating with officials on a larger investigation of fake documents.
Carmona started the Indians' opener last season and finished 7-15 with a 5.25 ERA in 32 starts. But the Indians only scored 3.8 runs per game for him, third worst support among AL starters. The right-hander finished fourth in Cy Young voting in 2007, when he became the youngest Indians pitcher to win more than 17 games since Hall of Famer Bob Feller in 1938.
The Indians have options on Carmona for 2013 and 2014.
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