Hernandez's future remains in limbo

Hernandez's future remains in limbo

CLEVELAND -- The Indians remain uncertain about when starting pitcher Roberto Hernandez might obtain the proper paperwork in order to head back to the United States. In the meantime, manager Manny Acta remains in regular contact with the right-hander.

"He says hello," Acta said with a smirk on Wednesday afternoon.

Hernandez has been sequestered in his native Dominican Republic since his Jan. 19 arrest for identity fraud after years of using the name Fausto Carmona. The charges have since been dropped by the authorities in the D.R., but Hernandez still needs a working visa or waiver from the United States government.

Acta noted on Wednesday that Hernandez's representatives initially believed the issue would have been cleared up by now.

"His side, the people that represent him," Acta said, "we're very optimistic that it had a very good chance to be resolved. But, unfortunately, that wasn't the case. That's something that it's out of his camp's and our camp's hands, as you guys all know."

As a result, Cleveland still does not know when Hernandez will be able to return to the United States or to the ballclub. Hernandez, who has gone 53-66 with a 4.59 ERA in six seasons with the Tribe, continues to train at the Indians' academy in the Dominican Republic.

Hernandez -- currently on baseball's restricted list -- would likely need a stint in the Minor Leagues before potentially rejoining the rotation. Acta said it was unlikely that the pitcher would be ready to immediately step back into the starting staff.

"I doubt that that would happen," Acta said.