TORONTO — A lawyer for former Toronto Blue Jay Roberto Osuna, who is charged with assault, took issue Wednesday with recent comments from the general manager of his client’s new team, the Houston Astros.
Domenic Basile, who appeared on Osuna’s behalf during a brief hearing in Toronto, said outside court that remarks from Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow about the pitcher being "remorseful" did not change anything for his client’s criminal case.
The 23-year-old Osuna was arrested in May and charged in connection with an alleged domestic incident.
The pitcher was traded to the Houston Astros on Monday and Luhnow said the club is "confident that Osuna is remorseful, has wilfully complied with all consequences related to his past behaviour" and has proactively engaged in counselling.
Basile said any remorse on Osuna’s part involves the entire situation at large, which includes being traded and a 75-game suspension.
"I think he’s remorseful that the circumstances are what they are," Basile said after Osuna’s case was put over to Sept. 5. "But at the end of the day in the criminal court … his intention is to plead not guilty."
The pitcher was suspended without pay for 75 games in June for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy and is eligible to pitch in the big leagues starting Sunday.
Basile said he is working toward having the Crown consider a peace bond in Osuna’s case, which could lead to the assault charge being withdrawn.
"Of course it would be nice to have the criminal charge finished and dealt with before he goes on the baseball field, but the criminal justice system can be a bit slow," Basile said. "The Crown and I agreed that September 5 would be day that hopefully it can get resolved."
Basile added that he spoke to Osuna a day earlier and said his client is in "good spirits."
"He remains positive," he said. "He is somewhat emotional because he loves Toronto and he had no real say on if he was going to be traded or not."
Osuna has not pitched in the majors since May 6, two days before he was put on administrative leave when the assault charge was laid in Toronto.