The Indians placed Fausto Carmona/Roberto Hernandez Heredia on the restricted list Thursday.
What does that mean? The club applied to the Commissionerís Office to have Carmona placed on the list because he is stuck in the Dominican Republic, unable to obtain a work permit to return to the United States.
Carmona was arrested in the Dominican last week for using a false name. At the time of his arrest, he was attempting to obtain a visa at the U.S. consulate in Santo Domingo.
Carmonaís real name is Roberto Hernandez Heredia, which he abandoned as a teenager in order to appear younger to major-league scouts. Because of the identity change, Hernandez lopped three years off his age (he is 31).
When he signed a contract with the Tribe, team officials thought he was 17. In reality, he was 20.
He must be cleared of charges filed by Dominican authorities before he can re-apply for a work visa, a process that will likely take several months.
By placing Carmona on the restricted list, the Tribe does not have to count him on the 25- or 40-man rosters. He also will not be paid under the terms of his $7 million contract until he returns to the team. When he becomes available, the club can apply to remove him from the restricted list.
What time is it?
The Indians have added starting times to their regular-season schedule.
In a move to accommodate families, the club is introducing new first-pitch times for several weekend games.
Two Saturday games ó July 7 against the Tampa Bay Rays and Aug. 11 against the Boston Red Sox ó will begin at 6:05 p.m. rather than 7:05. In addition, three Sunday games ó June 3 against the Minnesota Twins, July 22 against the Baltimore Orioles and Sept. 16 against the Detroit Tigers ó will start at 3:05 p.m. rather than 1:05. The April 5 Opening Day game against the Toronto Blue Jays also will begin at 3:05.
This year, 155 games are scheduled to be televised, 151 by SportsTime Ohio. Of those 151, WKYC (Channel 3) will air 20 games, which will be simulcast on STO.
The Fox network has four Tribe games on its schedule: April 28 against the Los Angeles Angels, June 2 against the Twins, June 9 against the St. Louis Cardinals and Sept. 15 against the Tigers.
The Indians signed veteran free-agent right-hander Dan Wheeler to a minor-league contract that includes a nonroster invitation to big-league training camp.
Wheeler, 34, has compiled a 29-43 record, 3.88 ERA and 43 saves in 577 appearances with the Rays, New York Mets, Houston Astros and Red Sox since breaking into the big leagues in 1999.
Last year, he posted a 2-2 record and 4.38 ERA in 47 outings with the Red Sox. He walked only eight and struck out 39 in 49∑ innings.
Wheeler is the 20th nonroster free agent invited to major-league spring training camp.
Right-hander Jose De La Torre and infielder Ryan Rohlinger have been signed to minor-league contracts and will report to the Tribeís minor-league training camp.
De La Torre, 26, split the 2011 season between the Gulf Coast League, Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League and Triple-A Buffalo in the Metsí farm system. He did most of his pitching for the Bisons, posting a 2-2 record and 0.89 ERA in 15 outings, a total of 20∑ innings, all in relief.
Rohlinger, 28, spent 2011 in the San Francisco Giantsí and Colorado Rockiesí farm systems. He started the season with Triple-A Fresno (Giants), batting .174 in 33 games. He was claimed off waivers by the Rockies in June and was assigned to Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he batted .284 in 70 games.
He also had one at-bat for the Giants, striking out. In 46 career big-league games, Rohlinger batted .134 with no home runs and seven RBI.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Indians blog at https://ohio.com/tribematters. Follow the Indians on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ABJ_Indians.