ANAHEIM -- After seven months of dealing with legal issues, serving a suspension and rehabbing in the Minors, Indians pitcher Roberto Hernandez will make his first start without "Carmona" on his back on Wednesday against the Angels.Hernandez's story has been well-documented. Then using the name Fausto Carmona, he was arrested outside the U.S. consulate in the Dominican Republic in January for identity fraud, prohibited from returning to the United States until he obtained a visa on July 21, and forced into revealing his true age (31), name and story. But after four Minor League rehab starts, Hernandez is ready to take the mound for Cleveland Wednesday. While his name has changed, Hernandez will still wear No. 55, and he hopes to show the same kind of form that made him a 19-game winner in 2007 and a crucial component of the Cleveland rotation in the years since. "I expect him to go out there and not try to do too much," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. "I'm sure he's going to have some kind of butterflies, even if he's been out there a ton of times, but he's never been out there at this time of the year for his first outing." For all the off-field intrigue surrounding his return, Acta said the team's approach to Hernandez's first start is simple. "[We'll] turn him loose," Acta said. "He'll be out there as long as the Angels allow him to be."
Perez notches 100th career save
ANAHEIM -- When Indians closer Chris Perez notched the 100th save of his career in Monday night's 6-2 win over the Angels, he did so in a way that he probably wouldn't have, say, 100 saves ago: with total command and composure.Perez came into a two-on, no-outs jam in the ninth and proceeded to throw 12 strikes in 15 pitches to retire the side and nail down his 32nd save in 36 chances. Perez says that efficiency is a sign of the growth he's experienced since tallying his first career save as a 22-year-old Cardinals reliever in 2008. "I'm a much more polished pitcher now," Perez said. "Back then I would just try to throw as hard as I could to get guys out. Now I'm setting them up, trying to make my pitches. I've learned a lot." With those lessons in tow, the 26-year-old seems poised to eclipse his career high of 36 saves, a mark he set last year after recording 23 saves in the previous campaign. He's allowed just 18 earned runs in 43 2/3 innings this season and struck out 49. His walk totals are down (11), he hasn't hit a batter, and hasn't thrown a wild pitch. "The command's just there," Perez said. "The more innings you throw, the more pitches you go, the more comfortable you get. ... It's not as frustrating as it used to be. It's going where I want it." His manager, Manny Acta, sees a clear progression from the time Perez assumed the closer's role midway through the 2010 season to this year. "He has really grown into the [closer's] role. This year it's a totally different guy," Acta said. "He spent the first year setting up until we moved him there last year. ... He started with some forearm issues and the velocity wasn't there, he was getting used to it. This year he's been the whole package."
Tomlin placed on 15-day DL
ANAHEIM -- The Indians placed right-handed pitcher Josh Tomlin on the 15-day DL Tuesday with right elbow inflammation. The move was retroactive to Monday and was accompanied by the reinstatement of Roberto Hernandez to the 25-man roster prior to his anticipated Wednesday start.Tomlin was a part of the Indians' rotation on Opening Day, though his last four outings came out of the bullpen. In his 16 starts, Tomlin is 5-8 with a 5.72 ERA (58 earned runs in 91 1/3 innings), and has a 6.36 ERA overall. This is his second stint on the disabled list this year; his first was from May 12-27 with a right wrist issue. Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, will start Wednesday. Manager Manny Acta said that Chris Seddon, who started Friday against the Red Sox, is now in the bullpen in order to keep the Indians' relief corps at eight.
Chelsea Janes is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.