August 26, 2014

Chris Perez, the Alex Mack contract extension and farewell to D’Qwell Jackson? – WFNY Podcast – 2013-08-07

WFNY Podcast LogoOn Mondays I talk to Scott Raab, but I don’t talk to WFNY’s own Scott nearly often enough. We found some time to do it up podcast style. We discussed Chris Perez, and the Browns’ salary cap situation.

  • Ariel Helwani and his awesome video blog show setup
  • Jamison Hensley’s video from Berea was an embarrassment
  • Chris Perez and his meltdown against Detroit
  • Scott Sargent is in the bag for Chris Perez
  • Chris Perez loses games in big big spots
  • Mariano Rivera and Craig Kimbrel
  • Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar and Fausto Carmona as failed closers
  • Craig thinks Jonathan Papelbon is good looking
  • Chris Perez not talking to the media last night
  • Did Perez let his teammates down by not talking?
  • Francona has a history of taking up for his guys
  • The Perez marijuana case and how that’s impacting fans
  • Perez’ bed and how he made it
  • Not wearing the scarlet letter and also not condoning bad fan behavior
  • Alex Mack and his extension… where is it?
  • You would take Alex Mack over Mark Sanchez 100 times out of 100
  • How hard would it be to replace Alex Mack?
  • Browns extending Christian Yount for five years
  • Are the Browns thinking about extending Joe Haden?
  • Could this be the last season for D’Qwell Jackson in Cleveland? [Read more...]

How good of a starting prospect is Danny Salazar?

danny salazarThe Cleveland Indians must have seen something in Danny Salazar before everyone else — and their early belief has paid off in a big way.

After the 2011 season, Cleveland’s organization surprised a lot of people by placing the 21-year-old right-hander on the official 40-man roster. Salazar actually had only made 15 starts in the previous two years because of Tommy John surgery and still hadn’t made it past the Single-A Midwest League with Lake County.

Yet, nearly 18 months after being protected from possible Rule 5 poaching, Salazar is rewarding the Tribe with the hottest start of any pitcher in professional baseball. In fact, following his fourth straight magnificent performance for Double-A Akron on Monday, he announced his own promotion to Triple-A Columbus on Twitter. And now, it’s time to wonder if he might be the best home-grown Cleveland pitching prospect in years. [Read more...]

Tampa Bay Rays closing in on Roberto Hernandez / Fausto Carmona

After seven seasons with the Indians, it appears that Roberto Hernandez (Carmona) will not be back again. After a wild off-season that saw his true identity revealed, and a mostly down 2012 when he finally did appear in some games, Hernandez is reportedly close to signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Hernandez had some moments with the Tribe and gave fans a spectacular 2007 that he was never able to live up to in subsequent years. He battled control issues despite having pretty spectacular movement the entire time. In the end Hernandez lost 69 times compared to 53 wins in his seven seasons. He started 153 games and pitched nearly 1000 innings.

It will be interesting to see what kind of career Hernandez is able to create for himself from this point forward. Will it be in the rotation or will he go back to his roots as a rookie and hit the bullpen? One thing’s for sure, it won’t be in Cleveland anymore.

[Related: Newest Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer in videos]

Roberto Hernandez Gets Visa, Will Be In Cleveland This Weekend And Then Serve 3-Week MLB Suspension

Roberto Hernandez, the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona, was granted a visa and will return to the United States on Saturday night and meet with reporters at Progressive Field on Sunday, according to Paul Hoynes of the The Plain Dealer. Stephen Payne, the lobbyist who worked on the right-handed pitcher’s behalf, told Hoynes that Hernandez must serve a “brief” suspension before returning to the club. Hoynes reports that the suspension will be three weeks, making Hernandez available on August 11th.

Payne seemed confident that Hernandez will be playing again for the Tribe, and Hoynes indicated that he will start rehab assignments soon:

“I do know Roberto will be playing baseball for the Cleveland Indians — if he’s physically ready — sometime in August,” said Payne.

Hernandez is scheduled to throw a simulated game next week for the Indians coaching staff. He will then go on a rehab assigment to the minors. He’ll need at least three to four starts to get ready.

The suspension is somewhat unexpected, as the Indians claimed that Hernandez would not receive a comparable punishment handed down to the former Leo Nunez of the Marlins, now Juan Carlos Oviedo.

[RelatedDominican Baseball: Fool me Once…]


Paul Dolan: “A Year Ago, There was a Rumor with Fausto”

In a lengthy sit-down with Terry Pluto, Cleveland Indians CEO Paul Dolan opened up about a variety of topics including the recent arrest, renamining and subsequent contract renegotiations of Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona.

“About a year ago, there was a rumor that there was something with Fausto,” Dolan said. “These type of things [name changes, age changes] do happen.”

In Januaray, Carmona was arrested in his native Dominican Republic while leaving the American Consulate in attempts to renew his Visa to come back to the States for Spring Training. He was charged with false identity and was found to be three years older than he had claimed, only to later get the charges dropped. The team could, allegedly, not gain any furthur information on the matter, but was not shocked to hear that something had happened when it did.

Following the arrest, Hernandez will see his $7 million base salary in 2012 drop to $2.5 million, with an additional $2.7 million available in performance and roster bonuses, determined by the number of starts he makes, the number of innings he pitches, and the total number of days he spends on the team’s active roster.

[Related: Is Ubaldo’s 2010 Fausto’s 2007?]


Is Ubaldo’s 2010 Fausto’s 2007?

Everyone in the baseball universe has essentially said the same thing about the chances for the Indians to compete with the Detroit Tigers for the AL Central crown. They will not be able to hang unless Ubaldo Jimenez finds his old form and pitches like the the top of the rotation starter that Chris Antonetti thought he was getting last summer. Not that anyone has forgotten, but the Indians sent their top two pitching prospects – Alex White and Drew Pomeranz – to get him.

When the Tribe made the deal, there were whispers that Jimenez was hurt. His velocity, which when healthy was regularly in the 95-96 range, was more like 90-91. The command was very up and down. From start to start, the Rockies didn’t know which Ubaldo was going to show up. On top of that, it was well known that Ubaldo was not thrilled that the Rockies had taken care of their other young stars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez long term, yet he was still looking for his extension. Adding all of those things up, Colorado GM Dan O’Dowd decided to put his ace on the market with two and a half years left on a club-friendly contract.

The Indians, still right in the hunt for the AL Central, bit. The company line was they were acquiring an in his prime, top of the rotation starter with two and a half years left on his deal. I was on board with the deal when it came down. I saw what Antonetti was trying to do. He saw a two-year window and he was going all in for it. The Tribe’s top positional player prospects are essentially all here. The rest are in A ball level. The time to contend is now. [Read more...]

Report: Indians restructure contract for Roberto Hernandez (Carmona)

According to Jon Heyman of CBS sports, the Cleveland Indians have restructured the contract of Roberto Hernandez (Fausto Carmona)-

“Sources: fausto carmona (heredia) contract has been restrcutured/reduced. 2012 salary was lowered and 1 option eliminated”

“Carmona (heredia) was to make $7M in 2012. Now far less than that. #indians have no comment on situation.”

So, assuming Hernandez is able to come back to the States, he will apparently be playing for less.

[Related: Charges Dropped in Fausto Name Case]

Report: Fausto Carmona / Roberto Hernandez gets charges dropped

The long nightmare that has been Robert Hernandez’ life over the last few months might be over. According to an ESPN report, the former Mr. Carmona has struck a deal.

Dominican Republic prosecutors say Cleveland Indians pitcher Roberto Hernandez has agreed to a deal to have false identity charges against him dropped in return for completing a work program in his Caribbean homeland.

What remains to be seen is exactly when that means Roberto Hernandez will be available to rejoin the Cleveland Indians. Still, this has got to be considered the first good news of the year for the Indians with regard to their one-time Cy Young vote getter.

MLB News: Indians name Justin Masterson opening day starter

The question of whether it would be Ubaldo Jimenez or Justin Masterson on opening day has been answered and Masterson is getting the nod. The 6’6″ 26 year-old had a pretty impressive year last year for the Tribe winning 12 games with a 3.21 ERA for the year. Masterson was a workhorse too, starting 33 games for the Indians.

It is a nice honor to get the nod as the opening day guy, but ultimately it doesn’t mean that much. Last year’s opening day starter was Fausto Carmona / Roberto Hernandez. That show of support from the Indians to Hernandez ended up sending him on his way to 15 losses and an ERA north of 5 for the season.

Anyway, Masterson gets the nod over Ubaldo Jimenez who looks to regain his #1 form that he established as a member of the Colorado Rockies.

Indians opening day is Thursday April 5th in Cleveland against the Toronto Blue Jays. No word yet as to who Masterson will be up against.

You can still get opening day tickets for as little as $15 from WFNYTickets.

Roberto Hernandez Urging Young Dominicans to “Be Honest”

It didn’t take very long for Fausto Carmona to officially become Roberto Hernandez. But it took even less time for Hernandez to turn his arrest and subsequent name change into a story to be used for future generations.

Per The Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes:

Hernandez has been visiting independent baseball camps on the island since Feb. 7. After he speaks, he hands out T-shirts to the players. On the front is printed this message in Spanish: “In Truth, There is Triumph.” Hernandez’s name is on the back with his number (55).

Arrested just under two months ago, Hernandez is now using his place in baseball as well as Dominican lore to educate and speak out against individuals who may attempt to “take advantage” of the next generation of potential MLB talent.

While Hernandez will not join the Indians as pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear, Arizona in the coming days, but he is expected to be with the team once his legal issues have been cleared.

[Related: Is the Tribe Down On Jeanmar Gomez?]

Antonetti: Fausto Carmona is Officially Roberto Hernandez

In a recent sit-down with the Plain Dealer, Cleveland Indians general manager Chris Antonetti stated that the team has received documentation that starting pitcher Fausto Carmona is officially named Roberto Hernandez (Heredia).

Arrested in January under suspicion of false identity, Hernandez, who was the recent recipient of a $7 million club option under his alias, was also found to be 31 years of age — three years older than believed by the team. The player was recently placed on the restricted list, meaning that the team holds no obligation to pay him until he is able to join the Indians.  Antonetti did make it clear that, once cleared by the Dominican Republic, Hernandez would be welcomed back to the team.

In six seasons with the Tribe, Carmona has a record of 53-66 with an ERA of 4.59.

Since the arrest, the Indians have traded for starting pitcher Kevin Slowey and coming to terms with free agent Jon Garland.

[Related: MLB Trade Rumors: Would You Trade Travis Hafner for A.J. Burnett?]

(Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer)

MLB Rumors: Indians Working on Deal for SP Jon Garland

The Cleveland Indians are apparently looking to corner the market on soft-throwing, location-based right handers as the team is reportedly in the mix for veteran starting pitcher Jon Garland.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians are “working on” a deal for Garland, 32, with apparent hopes of providing another inning-eating starter on a relative discount.  The 10th-overall selection in the 1997 amateur draft, Garland spent the bulk of his career with the Chicago White Sox (making the All-Star game in 2005) before bouncing around the West Coast over the last three seasons.

If signed, Garland would provide additional depth in the wake of the Fausto Carmona/Roberto Hernandez Heredia arrest. The Indians have recently acquired the right-handed Kevin Slowey in a trade with the Colorado Rockies.

Garland underwent season-ending shoulder surgery this past July with a recovery time slated for approximately six months. Over his 12 seasons in the majors, Garland has a record of 132-119 and an ERA of 4.32, totaling at least 190 innings in nine of his last 10 seasons. He possesses a career mark of 1.31 ground balls to every fly ball.

It is assumed that, like other deals consumated by the Indians this offseason, Garland’s contract will be of the minor league variety with plenty of incentives built in. If healthy, he could ultimately rival David Huff and Jeanmar Gomez for a rotation spot.

[Related: Setting the Lines for the 2012 Indians]

(Source: Ken Rosenthal)

Setting the Lines for the 2012 Indians

I like very much when people take firm and decisive stands on things.  For example, “I don’t drink. It’s against my religion.” Or “I’m a vegetarian; it’s the only ethical stance to take.” Or “I believe that Gremlins are real and breeding in the sewers of Montreal.”

I bring this up not because I am one of these principled folks—only that I admire them.  For example, as silly as I know gambling to be from an analytical perspective, every time I end up in Vegas I find myself sitting for hours at a black jack table—even though I know it to be an illogical pursuit that will slowly drain my wallet.  I wish I had the fortitude to take a stand, walk past the degenerates, and enjoy the sunshine.  Turns out, I don’t.  I belong with the degenerates. [Read more...]

Tribe Offseason Review and What Happens After 2013?

We are so close to pitchers and catchers reporting to Arizona, that baseball starved fans like me can taste it. Football season officially ended Sunday with the New York Giants holding the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in four years. While I am a hardcore college basketball junkie (which in this town is like being a leper), I always have one eye looking towards my first love, the Cleveland Indians.

The upcoming season has a ton of intrigue. The winter leading up to this campaign had so many ups and downs. Everyone looked at the offseason as a time where the Indians would do everything they could to get that middle of the order, right-handed power bat to place between a healthy Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Santana.  GM Chris Antonetti wasted no time improving his roster. Just after the World Series, he acquired veteran pitcher Derek Lowe from Atlanta presumably as the fifth starter. The thought was that he would stabilize that final spot, throw his usual 200-plus innings, and offer some veteran presence to the clubhouse of this young team. Little did we know how valuable adding Lowe would be. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Competing in the AL Central, More ID Fraud Coming and a Brian Sipe Sighting

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at

The only division we can compete in? “Outside of the Fielder deal, while teams in the other divisions have improved, the teams in the AL Central this offseason have done very little to make themselves much better. The Royals and Twins have made a few nice signings, but nothing big or that will put them over the top. Like the Indians, the biggest boost to them will be health and the development of their internal players. The White Sox are in sell mode and are retooling and are not considered to be a major factor in the division this season.

Even with the Tigers continuing to add big pieces in the past year, the Indians should thank their lucky stars they are not in the AL East or AL West as they would almost have no chance every year unless they hit on a bunch of young very good players at one time like the Rays. Beating the “buyers” over a 162 game season is a tough task, but the Indians have never had to really worry about that too much in the AL Central.” [Tony/Indians Prospect Insider" [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Fausto’s Future, Tribe Prospects and Potential Draft Picks

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at

“For years, we would read about Fausto going to the Dominican Republic in the off-season to “work on his farm” and keep a low-profile, but now we know what #55 was really trying to do – to wake up one more day living in his castle built on sand instead of seeing it crumble around him.

Now, it has collapsed for him and there are very serious questions about what the future holds for Carmona/Hernandez Heredia in terms of securing a visa to even re-gain entry into the US and as the Indians have already moved towards ostensibly replacing him with Kevin Slowey in what is only the most recent move that the Indians have made that was directly affected by the man who was thought to be Fausto. By that I mean, it’s hard not to see how that one decision in the Dominican Republic in 2000 has affected the decisions made by the Indians since Carmona’s breakout 2007 season, from assuming that they could rely on Carmona after that 2007 season (“sure CC, we don’t need you all that much anymore…we have a 23-year-old Fausto to front the rotation”), or the hopes that he could right himself year after year as the Indians didn’t pursue more pitching because of the idea that a 25-year-old or 26-year-old or 27-year-old player could right his ship.” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe] [Read more...]

Can Kevin Slowey Replace “Fausto Carmona”?

Other than noting the unfortunate nature of the whole story, I don’t have much to say about the pitcher formerly known as Fausto.  From what I can gather, it sounds like he’s not going to make it to Spring Training.  Which, I believe, means he’ll be put on the “restricted” list, a form of MLB purgatory wherein you do not receive a paycheck.  It’s mostly a sad story, and one I don’t enjoying dwelling on all that much.

But that doesn’t mean that the Indians don’t have to move forward, and that’s what they did by acquiring Kevin Slowey from the Colorado Rockies for Zach Putnam (and cash to offset Slowey’s $2.75 million salary).  Before we get into what we might expect from Slowey, we would be remiss not to notice that the Rockies’ GM Dan O’Dowd used to work in the Indians’ front office and in the last eight months has acquired five of the Indians farmhands.  That’s probably a coincidence (he’s been the Rockies’ GM since 1999), but it’s still interesting that Chris Antonetti seems to have built a rapport with O’Dowd. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Baseball’s Age Problem, Tight End Depth and Winning the Hickson Trade

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at

“A lot of people may fault Carmona, but he is a product of a bad system. Major League Baseball is doing their best to police the problems with age and name falsification and the rampant use of steroids. On top of that players are often bribed by buscones (street agents) where they are promised food, shelter, training, and help with getting a signing bonus in exchange for a pre-arranged sum of money. There is only so much the league can do to control it.

Carmona is just another example of a system out of control. He is not the only one either as several players have been caught recently – such as Miami Marlins pitcher Leo Nunez a few months ago – and more will be caught in the future as there are probably several players in the big leagues and minor leagues currently playing with false identities.” [Tony/Indians Prospect Insider] [Read more...]

Audio: Craig with Ken Silverstein on 92.3 WFAN – 1/21/2012

I was on for a few minutes talking Indians and Cavs with Ken Silverstein at 92.3 the Fan. We talked a bit about Kyrie Irving and his development so far.  We talked about the Cavs needing to make it to the lottery, not the playoffs.  Finally we talked about Fausto Carmona and his overnight change into Roberto Hernandez Heredia in the Dominican Republic.

Here is the evidence.

Craig on WFAN 2012-01-21

While We’re Waiting…Fausto Apologizes, Tribe Trades for Slowey, And On Cavs Last Rebuild

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at

On Tribe’s deal for Kevin Slowey: “The Cleveland Indians haven’t had the most exciting offseason in the history of the franchise, though things are certainly changing. Pitcher Fausto Carmona was arrested for actually being Roberto Hernandez Heredia on Thursday and, to follow that up Friday, the Indians traded for Kevin Slowey from the Colorado Rockies.

Slowey doesn’t elicit quite the response that Carmona’s false identity scandal did, but the former starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins shouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to Cleveland’s pitching staff this season. Slowey’s started 90 games in his career, compiling 39 wins and 29 losses despite an 0-8 season with the Minnesota Twins last year.

To acquire the 27-year-old Slowey, the Indians shipped Zach Putnam to the Rockies,according to Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi.”  [Scott Schroeder / SB Nation] [Read more...]