|Cleveland Indians – No. --|
January 26, 1981 |
Azua, Dominican Republic
|Bats: Right||Throws: Left|
|September 8, 2006 for the Cleveland Indians|
(through 2008 season)
|Earned run average||4.26|
Juan Manuel Lara (born January 26, 1981 in Azua, Dominican Republic) is a Major League Baseball relief pitcher in the Cleveland Indians organization. He was signed by Cleveland as an amateur free agent in May 1999 and was called up to the major league club on September 5, 2006.
Minor league Career 
Since 1999, Lara has played for the Dominican Indians (1999–2001), Burlington Indians (2002), Mahoning Valley Scrappers (2003), Lake County Captains (2003), Kinston Indians (2004–2005), Akron Aeros (2005–2007), and Buffalo Bisons (2006-2007). He worked as a starting pitcher from 2000 through the first half of 2003 and has worked primarily out of the bullpen since then compiling a minor league record of 24–28, 16 saves, a 3.96 ERA and 443 strike outs in 509 2⁄3 innings. He became a free agent at the end of the 2008 season.
Lara was involved in a serious automobile accident on the night of November 24, 2007 in his homeland of the Dominican Republic. His car was struck at an intersection by a motorcycle. Both occupants of the motorcycle were killed instantly, while Lara was taken to a Dominican Republic hospital with life-threatening injuries, including broken ribs, a broken D2 vertebra and possible brain damage. His injuries were considered to be possibly career-ending.
On March 12, 2008, Lara was released from the Indians' 40-man roster; he was subsequently resigned to a minor league contract despite the fact that he will miss the entire 2008 season. The Indians organization will handle all of Lara's medical expenses.
Return from Injuries 
After wearing a halo vest to support his neck and surgeries on his spine and arms, Lara reported to the Indians' training camp on March 31, 2009. He is expected to be assigned to a minor league team.