Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon, accused of shooting and killing a 25-year-old man in his native Dominican Republic during New Year's celebrations, will go to trial, a judge has ruled, according to an Associated Press report out of the Dominican Republic.
Simon, 30, was in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, for Monday's hearing. He was back in the United States later Monday and started for Double-A Bowie on Tuesday night in Richmond, Va.
Dinora Diloné, an attorney for Simon, maintains that his client is innocent in the shooting that killed Michael Castillo Almonte.
"The case was sent back to trial even though there is no evidence to confirm that Alfredo was involved in the incident. Even the ballistics tests were negative," Diloné told the Associated Press.
Diloné said no date has been set for the start of the trial, "but it usually takes about two months."
If he is found guilty of manslaughter, Simon faces a sentence of three months to two years in prison.
The right-hander appeared in 55 games for the Orioles from 2008 to 2010, going 4-3 with a 5.64 ERA. Forty-nine of those appearances came last season, when Simon went 4-2 with a 4.93 ERA and saved 17 games in 21 chances.
He has made three starts for Bowie this season, allowing seven runs (six earned) on 14 hits and five walks while striking out 17, good for a 3.38 ERA. Tuesday's outing was Simon's best for the Baysox as he pitched six scoreless innings, surrendering three hits and walking two while striking out four and throwing 53 of his 83 pitches for strikes. He was unavailable for comment after the game.
Simon, is who is on baseball's restricted list, will have to be promoted to the Orioles' 25-man roster or released by Sunday or thereabouts. Should Simon be called up to the big league club, he could join the rotation or work out of a bullpen that has struggled mightily of late.
Alternatively, the club could put him on its 40-man roster and attempt to send him to the minor leagues, but he would have to clear waivers. If he were to clear waivers in that scenario, he could become a free agent without any further compensation from the Orioles or maintain his current contract and accept a minor league assignment.
Through an agreement among the Orioles, the players union, Major League Baseball and Simon's agent, the pitcher has begun collecting a salary of about $227,000, a prorated amount of what he made in 2010.
Baltimore Sun reporters Jeff Zrebiec and Dan Connolly, The Richmond Times-Dispatch and Sun staff and news services contributed to this article.