Good news for the men formerly known as Fausto Carmona and Leo Nunez, as Dominican Today reports that “the U.S. State Department could pardon the Dominican baseball players caught with a false identity.”
That apparently comes from some remarks consul general William Weissman made during an event yesterday, although he declined to address any specific cases and also noted that players turning themselves in should result in much different treatment.
Carmona (now Roberto Hernandez Heredia) and Nunez (now Juan Carlos Oviedo) did not turn themselves in and are currently having difficulty securing visas, putting their status for spring training and perhaps even Opening Day in question.
Dominican Today reports that the country’s sports minister, Felipe Payano, asked United States officials to pardon the players, saying: “For those baseball players who are in difficult situations, we ask that you consider what they represent for the Dominican Republic and their families.”
The loss of a close, well-pitched game is hard enough for any team to take, but when you lose two key players to injury in the process it’s gotta be damn nigh intolerable. That’s what happened to the Angels last night in their 3-1 loss to Minnesota, losing Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani. And it happened on consecutive plays in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Simmons is likely to be gone for an extended period after suffering a sprained ankle which was later deemed “severe”. Indeed, they weren’t sure it wasn’t broken until the X-rays came back negative. He sustained the injury running to first base, trying to beat out an infield hit. He came down on the ankle and it twisted in ugly fashion — there are Gifs of it on Twitter and stuff, but you don’t wanna see them — before tumbling over the bag to the ground. Simmons will have an MRI today to see how bad things really are.
Ohtani got off more easily, getting hit in the right ring finger with a pitch while striking out. His X-rays were also negative, but they will reassess him today.
Simmons is hitting .298/.323/.415 on the year while playing his usual spectacular defense. Ohtani, who just came back from Tommy John surgery as a hitter a couple of weeks ago, is hitting .250/.345/.375.