Roberto Hernandez to join Indians’ rotation Wednesday

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UPDATE: According to Nick Camino of WTAM in Cleveland, Indians manager Manny Acta said that Hernandez will start Wednesday against the Angels.

2:01 PM: Roberto Hernandez hasn’t pitched for the Indians this season after being arrested in January on false identity charges in his native Dominican Republic, but that should change very soon.

According to Nick Camino of WTAM in Cleveland, Indians manager Manny Acta said Hernandez will likely get called up to start next week, either against Angels or Athletics.

Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, has a 4.07 ERA and 20/4 K/BB ratio over 24 1/3 innings over his first four tune-up starts in the minors. This includes seven-innings of one-run ball with Triple-A Columbus last night. He’s eligible to return from his three-week suspension today, but the Indians will presumably wait until his turn in the rotation to activate him.

Hernandez has a 4.59 ERA over six seasons in the majors, all with Cleveland. He posted a 5.25 ERA and 109/60 K/BB ratio in 188 2/3 innings last season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.

Report: Jose Ramirez close to four-year extension with Indians

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Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that third baseman Jose Ramirez is finalizing a four-year extension with the Indians. The deal is said to be worth north of $30 million, and may crest $50 million if all options are exercised. While the extension won’t take effect until the 2018 season, it guarantees Ramirez a $26 million sum with two options worth $11 and $13 million and will give the Indians control of the infielder through the 2023 season.

Ramirez, 24, is entering his fifth season in the Indians’ organization. He posted career-high numbers during his first full season in the majors, slashing .312/.363/.461 with 11 home runs, 22 stolen bases and 4.8 fWAR in 2016. He’s projected to have a strong follow-up season at the plate and will likely see some time at second base as Jason Kipnis works his way back from a shoulder injury.

Although 2016 only showcased the beginning of Ramirez’s success with the club, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman says it’s a standard move for Cleveland to “sign their stars early,” and indicates that Ramirez was rumored to want the deal. Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors adds that the extension will keep Ramirez under club control through three arbitration-eligible years and one year of potential free agency.