Visa issues delay Hernandez's arrival to Astros camp

Team hopes right-hander can join club in Florida by Tuesday

Visa issues delay Hernandez's arrival to Astros camp

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said he doesn't expect veteran pitcher Roberto Hernandez to arrive at camp until Tuesday at the earliest. Hernandez was the only one of the 28 pitchers on the roster to not work out on the first day of camp on Saturday.

Hernandez, who's from the Dominican Republic, didn't sign with the Astros until last week and is still awaiting a visa to work in the U.S.

"Because he signed late, we knew there was going to be potentially a delay in him getting here, but we're working hard and we hope to get it resolved in a few days," Luhnow said.

Hernandez, 34, went 8-11 with a 4.10 ERA in 32 games (29 starts) combined with the Phillies and Dodgers last season. Luhnow said the veteran will compete for a spot in the rotation with Brad Peacock, Dan Straily, Alex White, Asher Wojciechowski, Sam Deduno and Jake Buchanan.

"He's in shape," Luhnow said. "It's just a matter of the paperwork for the visa. He should be here, we're hoping Tuesday, but I'm not going to put an exact time on it. He'll be here as soon as he can. He's trying to stay in shape the best he can."

Hernandez, known as Fausto Carmona when he won 19 games for the Indians in 2007, was arrested in January 2012 outside the U.S. consulate for using a false identity and could not return to the United States until he obtained a visa. Luhnow said that situation isn't an issue.

"The State Department has cleared him on everything that's happened in the past," he said. "This likely would have been the same case regardless of which Dominican player we were going to sign."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.