CLEVELAND -- The Indians are moving closer to making a decision on whether starter Roberto Hernandez will be able to pitch again for the club this season.
Hernandez experienced no problems with his ailing right ankle during a bullpen session on Tuesday, but manager Manny Acta said the pitcher still had issues with his mobility during other drills. The right-hander will throw off the mound and run through another workout on Friday.
"He's OK throwing the ball," Acta said. "But he's still not moving around 100 percent. I think the next bullpen and workout will dictate what we're going to do going forward."
Hernandez, 32, exited a start against the A's on Aug. 27 after spraining the ankle. It was a disappointing development, considering Cleveland planned on using the final month of the season to evaluate Hernandez with an eye toward next year.
In just three starts this season, Hernandez has gone 0-3 with a 7.53 ERA, providing a rough sample since rejoining the Indians' rotation. The pitcher missed the first four months while dealing with legal and visa problems after it was learned that he had been working under a false identity (Fausto Carmona).
Acta said the Indians have not seen enough of Hernandez to make a proper evaluation.
"Just a couple outings? No," Acta said.
Cleveland has a $6 million club option to retain Hernandez for the 2013 season. The pitcher would become a free agent this offseason if the team opts against picking up the option. Hernandez's season line and injury have complicated the situation.
"It makes it tough, but that's out of my box," Acta said. "We're going to have to wait and see how we're doing, depth-wise, with the pitching. That's going to be out there. That's not my decision. I'll probably have some kind of say in it, but that's not part of what I do."