The Indians are now officially done with Spring Training. Today there's just a workout at Progressive Field, and possibly a press conference announcing Asdrubal Cabrera's contract extension. The Indians finished the spring relatively healthy (Jeanmar Gomez shouldn't miss a start, and Chris Perez will on the active roster Thursday), but they are going to have to deal with a suspension. And they're trying to avoid another suspension.
This headline didn't make a lot of sense initially, but one of the major reasons renegotiated Fauxsto's contracts was to avoid having to suspend him as well. Still don't make sense? The State Department can apparently insist that an employer (in this case the Indians and Major League Baseball) suspend an employee (in this case Roberto Hernandez) before they issue a work visa. So the Indians tried to get ahead of the curve by renegotiating his base salary as punishment for his identity theft.
"I'm somewhat familiar with the negotiations between the Indians and Roberto," said Stephen Payne, a visa expert and lobbyist hired by Hernandez's agents. "I feel there was a general understanding between all parties that the punishment would be a $7.5 million reduction in pay [as opposed to a suspension].
So if the State Department agrees that Hernandez was already been punished with the salary reduction, they may not require a suspension, and Hernandez would be able to join the rotation as soon as he's ready.
As expected, Ubaldo Jimenez will appeal his five-game suspension so that he can start Saturday's game against Toronto. There's an off-day on both April 12th and April 16th, so it's likely Jimenez will drop the appeal after his start on Saturday. With the off-day on the 12th, the Indians would then just swap Derek Lowe and Jimenez in the Kansas City series, with Lowe going on Friday, April 13th, and Jimenez going on the 14th.
Jimenez declined to apologize to Troy Tulowitzki:
"He was calling me a [expletive], so why should I?" said Jimenez. "I already said I didn't mean to hit him. It was a pitch that got away. I had five walks in the game. I was everywhere [with my pitches]."
In response to Jim Tracy's "gutless" comments:
Regarding his former manager's comments, Jimenez said, "I can't control what people say. Whatever people think, leave it like that. ... I was probably a little surprised to hear what he said, but that's OK."
Because the Indians had an historically great rotation in the mid-50s, Narleski was moved to the bullpen, where he and southpaw Don Mossi formed a great relief duo. In 1954, he allowed just 59 hits in 89 innings, and would have earned 13 saves had the stat been in existence then. He finished 6th in MVP voting in 1955 despite making 59 out of his 60 appearances out of the bullpen; he threw 111.2 innings, and would have saved 19 games.
I'll have much more on Narleski next week.
Ryan Spilborghs didn't make the big-league club, but he'll stay with the organization, as he will report to Columbus. Fred Lewis, though, has been released. Chris Ray is also staying, as he decided not to exercise his out clause.