Indians expect Fausto Carmona to miss spring training

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Odds are that Fausto Carmona, like Leo Nunez before him, won’t do any significant jail time for his arrest on false identity charges, but the pitcher now known as Roberto Hernandez Heredia may have trouble securing a visa and the Indians believe he’ll miss spring training.

Manager Manny Acta spoke to the Associated Press, which is reporting that “the team is trying to speed up Carmona’s arrival.”

However, last week’s trade for Kevin Slowey was seemingly made to address the hole in the rotation that would be created by Carmona/Heredia not being cleared to return to America.

He was released from a Dominican jail Friday after posting a $13,000 bond and so far there’s been no talk of the Indians trying to void his $7 million contract despite the belief that Carmona/Heredia is actually 31 years old, rather than his listed age of 28. Another option is placing Carmona/Heredia on the restricted list, which may allow the Indians to keep him on the roster without having to pay him until he shows up.

Baseball seeking a second lab for MLB COVID-19 tests

MLB COVID-19 tests
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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported last night that Major League Baseball is “actively pursuing an additional medical lab site to increase the speed and efficiency” of MLB COVID-19 tests.

The current setup — as planned by MLB and approved by the MLBPA as a part of the plan to play the 2020 season — is for all MLB COVID-19 tests to be sent to and processed by MLB’s PED testing lab in Salt Lake City, Utah. As you likely heard, there have been delays in the administration of COVID-19 tests and in the shipping of tests to Utah, but to date no one has reported that the lab itself has not been able to handle the tests once they’ve arrived there. If MLB is looking for a second lab site a week into this process, it suggests that their plans for the Utah lab might not be working the way they had anticipated.

The issues with testing have created unease around the game in recent days, with some players and team executives speaking out against Major League Baseball’s handling of the plan in the early going. Commissioner Rob Manfred, meanwhile, has responded defensively to the criticism.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported this morning that, months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States still lacks testing capacity. From the report:

Lines for coronavirus tests have stretched around city blocks and tests ran out altogether in at least one site on Monday, new evidence that the country is still struggling to create a sufficient testing system months into its battle with Covid-19 . . .“It’s terrifying, and clearly an evidence of a failure of the system,” said Dr. Morgan Katz, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins Hospital . . . in recent weeks, as cases have surged in many states, the demand for testing has soared, surpassing capacity and creating a new testing crisis.

It’s less than obvious, to say the least, how Major League Baseball plans to expand capacity for MLB COVID-19 tests while America as a whole is experiencing “a new testing crisis” and a “failure of the system.” At the very least it’s less than obvious how, even if Major League Baseball can do so, it can do so ethically.