Juan Carlos Oviedo, the Marlins relief pitcher formerly known as Leo Nuñez, arrived in South Florida on Monday and was promptly handed an eight-week suspension by Major League Baseball for age and identity fraud.
The suspension will run through July 22, meaning the first day Oviedo will be eligible to return to the Marlins is July 23, when they open a three-game series at Marlins Park against the Braves.
According to the league, Oviedo, who spent the past eight months in the Dominican Republic trying to resolve the identity issue, will be eligible to participate in extended spring training during the period of his suspension.
The Marlins are allowed to send Oviedo for one rehabilitation assignment to a minor-league affiliate that cannot exceed 16 days. That is expected to happen at the end of his suspension so he can prepare for an eventual return to the team.
Oviedo will meet with reporters Tuesday morning in Jupiter — the Marlins’ spring training home — along with president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and general manager Mike Hill.
Although Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez won’t be pitching against the Marlins in any of their meetings over three days, that hasn’t stopped friends and family from bombarding him with ticket requests for the next couple days.
“I’ve been getting non-stop text messages and phone calls from everybody,” said Gonzalez, who was part of two state championship teams at Hialeah High before leaving for and graduating from Monsignor Pace in 2004. “My mom is like, ‘You’ve got a big pass list. You’ve got over 100 tickets.’ I’m like, ‘Hey, I don’t know who they think they are, but 100 tickets is expensive, man.’ ”
If the Nationals’ rotation stays in order and there aren’t any rainouts over the next month and a half, Gonzalez would be in line to pitch at Marlins Park right after the All-Star break, on July 15.
Gonzalez (7-1) ranks first in the National League in strikeouts (79) and third in ERA (2.04).
• Veteran outfielder Austin Kearns, on the 15-day disabled list since May 23 with a right hamstring strain, believes he’ll be ready to go once he’s eligible to be reinstated June 7.
Kearns injured his hamstring while scoring from first base on a Giancarlo Stanton double last Tuesday against the Rockies. He’s batting .375 with three home runs and nine RBI in 48 at-bats in 22 games.
• Catcher John Buck ended an 0-for-26 skid with a second-inning single Sunday through the hole into left.
It was the second-longest hitless streak of Buck’s career. He went 0 for 30 when he played for the Royals.
• Tuesday: Marlins RHP Anibal Sanchez (2-3, 2.87 ERA) vs. Washington Nationals RHP Edwin Jackson (1-2, 3.38), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Wednesday: Marlins RHP Josh Johnson (2-3, 4.87) vs. Nationals Chien-Ming Wang (1-0, 3.00), 7:10 p.m. Marlins Park.
• Scouting report: Sanchez is 7-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 18 starts against the Nationals but has received just five runs of support during his past four appearances.