Roberto Hernandez — the real name of the man we know as Fausto Carmona — used a fake identity, got a nice bonus out of it and made it to the majors on the strength of his advancement at a certain, presumed age. But he wants kids in the Dominican Republic to know that it’s wrong to lie about one’s identity:
Roberto Hernandez Heredia, the pitcher Indians fans knew as Fausto Carmona, is telling young baseball players in the Dominican Republic to tell the truth about their age and identity.
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).
I hate to be so damn cynical about it, but the shirts might also read “in truth there is a much lower bonus and a ticket to being organizational depth.” Because, look, what Hernandez did was against the law and dishonest, but it also worked out way better for him than the truth would have. And it’s that inefficiency in the system which should be addressed.
Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.
Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.
Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Robert Gsellman has won the No. 4 spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. He adds that the Mets are likely to play things cautiously with lefty Steven Matz. The fifth and final rotation spot will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo.
Gsellman, 23, has had a great spring. The right-hander has allowed three earned runs on 15 hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. That is on the heels of seven solid starts at the end of the 2016 season during which he yielded 12 earned runs on 40 hits and 12 walks with 40 strikeouts in 41 innings.
Matz, 25, is dealing with irritation in his left elbow. He had surgery in October to remove a bone spur and was a Tommy John patient several years ago. It sounds like the Mets are leaning towards having him start the season on the disabled list.
Wheeler, 26, isn’t having a great spring. He’s surrendered seven runs in 7 1/3 innings. Lugo has given up three earned runs in seven spring innings and also looked solid in the World Baseball Classic although he took the loss in the final against the United States.