Hector Taveras suspended, Alex Cintron signed
Apologies for being a few hours late to the party, but there are two small items of news to catch up from yesterday evening:
>>Major League Baseball suspended Nationals minor league catcher Hector Taveras 25 games for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the Commissioner's Office announced. Taveras received 25 games, rather than the standard 50, because he did not actually test positive for any drug. The Associated Press reported an unauthorized syringe was found in his possession.
Taveras, a 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic, played nearly all of last season in the Gulf Coast League, hitting .291 with a .701 OPS. In one game with Class A Hagerstown, he went 2 for 3 with a triple.
He became the second Nationals minor leaguer to be suspended in short time. Last week, the league announced the 50-game suspension of Adrian Nieto for failing a drug test. He has since blamed the result on a mistaken over-the-counter purchase.
The Nationals, according to the database at The Biz of Baseball, have had eight minor leaguers suspended since the start of 2010, the most in the majors over that span. The Yankees are second with seven.
>>The Nationals signed Alex Cintron to a minor-league contract, his agent, Burton Rocks, said. Cintron appeared in 21 games for the Nationals during the 2009 season, his last major league experience. Cintron, 32, spent all of last year with the Mets' Class AAA affiliate in Buffalo. The Nats added Cintron purely for minor league depth, and he will not participate in major league camp.
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