Tribe still determining next step for Hernandez

Tribe still determining next step for Hernandez

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Indians were encouraged by Roberto Hernandez's first outing in his comeback to the club's rotation, but the organization is still in the process of determining the next step in the pitcher's throwing program.

"We don't have that for you guys yet," Indians manager Manny Acta said on Friday. "What we need to do is get him ready, stretch him out and that'll be it."

Hernandez, who returned to the United States on Saturday after receiving a new working visa, logged five innings for Class A (low) Lake Country on Thursday night. The right-hander allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits with four strikeouts and no walks in a 66-pitch effort.

In his first game action of this season, Hernandez was around 89-93 mph on his fastball.

"They liked the way he threw the ball," Acta said. "He was able to keep the ball down. He just went through the five innings with no issues. He felt good afterward, so we'll just go from there."

Hernandez -- formerly known as Fausto Carmona -- will throw in a bullpen session at Lake County on Saturday. He will likely make his next Minor League start on Tuesday, but Cleveland has not determined which affiliate he will join for that outing.

Acta said the goal is to build Hernandez up to around 100 pitches before having him rejoin the Indians' staff. Hernandez is currently on Major League Baseball's restricted list and will not be eligible to be activated until Aug. 11, following his three-week suspension for using a false identity.