The pitcher Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, told The Associated Press he hopes to obtain a judicial pardon and return to the Cleveland Indians this season.
Hernandez was placed on baseball’s restricted list after he was arrested in the Dominican Republic on false identity charges last month. Authorities have said he is 31, three years older than the pitcher claimed.
”I’m doing all that is necessary so that when the pardon is granted, I won’t have to wait long to play again,” he said Wednesday.
Hernandez also said he keeps in touch with Indians manager Manny Acta.
”He has provided support,” he said. ”We don’t talk a lot about the issue, but he is keeping an eye on me.”
Hernandez’s agent, Jorge Brito, said he is confident Hernandez will soon rejoin the team.
”We are working to resolve this situation, and we believe that Roberto will be able to pitch in the major leagues this year,” Brito said.
Hernandez said he is meeting with young baseball players to warn them about the problems of using a false identity.
Hernandez said he chose to remain quiet about his past when fellow Dominican player Juan Carlos Oviedo, a Miami Marlins reliever formerly known as Leo Nunez, was detained after playing under a fake name for seven major league seasons.
”I know I should have come clean before, but I was scared to reveal what happened to me,” Hernandez said. ”That’s why I waited until it became public.”
Hernandez went 7-15 with a 5.25 ERA last season and was expected to be part of the starting rotation this year. The Indians exercised his $7 million option for 2012 in October.
Cleveland signed Hernandez to a four-year contract in 2008. The club has options on him for 2013 at $9 million and 2014 at $12 million.