After news of the incident somehow remained silent for three weeks, the Indians announced today that Austin Kearns was arrested in Kentucky on February 12 and charged with a DUI.
Asked why he didn’t tell the Indians about the arrest and instead let them find out only after it was published in a Kentucky newspaper, Kearns said it was “the advice I was given.”
According to the police report Kearns was “flashing his headlights and weaving” and told the arresting officer that he’d consumed “a couple bourbon and cokes” at a local bar. He refused to take a field sobriety test and allegedly “advised that he played professional baseball and asked if I could cut him a break.”
He has a court date scheduled for March 10, but Kearns told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he won’t have to leave Indians camp to attend the hearing. Kearns declined to comment on the case, but indicated that this is the first time he’s been charged with a DUI.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.
Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.
When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.
The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.