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.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.