CLEVELAND -- After nearly 10 months, Roberto Hernandez will pitch for the Indians' organization again.
The team announced Tuesday that Hernandez will start for Class A Lake County on Thursday night, when the team plays West Michigan. Hernandez, formerly Fausto Carmona, last pitched for the Indians on Sept. 25, 2011. He returned to the U.S. on Sunday after spending six months in his native Dominican Republic following his arrest Jan. 19 for using a false name.
Indians manager Manny Acta said Hernandez will pitch four to five innings at Lake County, not to exceed 75 pitches. He had worked up to five innings and 75 pitches while pitching in D.R., but the atmosphere was more relaxed than it is in the Minor Leagues.
"We're going to see his stuff, stamina and where he's at right now," Acta said.
Acta said the team plans to have Hernandez pitch every five days until his three-week suspension ends on Aug. 11. As for what he expects from his former All-Star pitcher, Acta isn't so sure.
"We have to play it by ear," Acta said. "I'm sure if he throws the ball around the plate, he's going to be able to do OK. But I've seen so many guys go on rehab assignments and just get lit up by those kids, because guys are trying to work themselves into shape and throw strikes, and those kids are just hacking. It's not like I'm expecting him to go no-hit for four innings or anything."
Tribe lefty R. Perez pitches scoreless rehab outing
CLEVELAND -- Indians reliever Rafael Perez pitched two scoreless innings in his rehab appearance Monday night for Triple-A Columbus. Perez allowed one hit, and didn't have a strikeout or a walk. It was his third rehab appearance this month, but his first since July 16.
The left-hander hasn't pitched for the Indians since April 25, when he injured his left lat.
"He threw the ball well," said Indians manager Manny Acta. "He got through two innings, no problems."
Prior to Monday's appearance, Acta suggested Perez may be able to return to the big leagues, depending on how the outing went. But Acta said Tuesday that Perez will have to continue pitching in the Minors.
"He's going to take two days off," Acta said, "and then after that we're going to evaluate whether we're going to have him pitch back to back or just bring him in the middle of the inning, those types of situations he's going to have to do up here. But he's going to have to pitch some more."
Quote to note
"When he put that ball in the corner, my heart sank because I knew how important that game was for us. It was heartbreaking up until that mix up at third base. Sometimes you'd just rather be lucky than good." -- Indians setup pitcher Vinnie Pestano, on the eighth-inning play Monday night in which an Orioles runner was tagged out between third base and home plate.
The Indians skipped outdoor batting practice for the second consecutive day Tuesday. The players hit in the batting cages on their own, and they weren't required to report to the ballpark until 5:30 p.m. ET. Acta said he's trying to give his players some rest during a stretch in which they will play 17 games without an off-day. "We're trying to take care of the kids," Acta said. "Basically, keep them off they're feet and keep them fresh. We did it yesterday, and we won, so we promised them we would do it again today, just to keep them fresh. That's part of baseball culture, but it's not like they're just sitting in there not doing anything. They're just hitting indoors."
Giovanni Soto, a pitcher for Double-A Akron, was named the Indians Minor League Player of the Week on Tuesday. Soto, a left-hander, went 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts last week, including a no-hitter July 15 against Altoona. Soto, acquired in a 2010 trade involving Jhonny Peralta, is 6-7 with a 3.72 ERA on the season.
The Indians entered Tuesday's game 28-3 when both Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez appear in the same game.
Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo's two-run home run in Monday's game against the Orioles gave him 11 homers from the leadoff spot this season. Choo entered Tuesday tied with Texas' Ian Kinsler for the second-most blasts from that spot in the Majors, trailing only the Angels' Mike Trout (15).
Justin Albers is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.