MLB announced today that Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz has been suspended for 25 games for Amphetamine use. According to the Inquirer's Matt Gelb's source, Chooch tested positive for Adderall, most commonly used to treat ADHD.
Ruiz tested positive for Adderall, according to a league source, an
amphetamine commonly used to control attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD). Adderall is classified as a banned stimulant — not a
steroid — under MLB's policy. The suspension was triggered by Ruiz's
second positive test for the stimulant.
Looks like Erik Kratz is going to play a much bigger role than he anticipated to start the 2013 campaign.
Here's the team's statement:
Phillies fully support Major League Baseball’s Drug Program. We are
disappointed by the news of this violation of the program. We will
support Carlos in an appropriate manner and move forward to achieve our
goal to play championship-caliber baseball in 2013.”
UPDATE: Here's Chooch's statement via ESPN's Jayson Stark:
“I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant. I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization, and the Philadelphia fans. I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season and I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013."
UPDATE2: Here's Chooch's statement in Spanish:
“Estoy sinceramente arrepentido por el error que cometí al tomar un medicamento prohibido. Quiero disculparme con mis compañeros de equipo, la organización de los Phillies y todos los fanaticos de Philadelphia y del beisbol. Voy a cumplir con la suspensión de 25 juegos que me han impuestos a principio de la temporada y estaré ansioso de volver al campo a fin de trabajar duro para lograr un nuevo campeonato para Philadelphia en el 2013.”
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Just pitch.
Don’t worry about the role.
That’s Adam Morgan’s mindset this spring.
“I’m just trying to show whoever needs to see it that I can be an asset to this team,” the left-hander said after his spring debut against the New York Yankees on Saturday (see story). “I’m just keeping it simple that way. I’m not trying to go out for that fifth (starting) spot. If the fifth spot opens up, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want to put me in the bullpen, I’d be more than willing to do that. If they want me to be the backup catcher, I’ll be the backup catcher.”
The Phillies have plenty of candidates for backup catcher.
And the top five spots in their starting rotation, barring an unforeseen development, are accounted for.
But there is a way for Morgan to make this team.
“He’s definitely a bullpen candidate,” manager Pete Mackanin said.
Mackanin is on record as saying he’d like to have two lefties in what likely will be a seven-man bullpen. It might not work out that way, but that would be Mackanin’s preference.
Morgan is one of what appears to be four candidates along with Joely Rodriguez, Cesar Ramos and Sean Burnett. Ramos and Burnett are experienced major-league veterans in camp on minor-league contracts. Rodriguez is the only pure lefty reliever on the 40-man roster. Morgan, of course, is on the 40-man roster, but he’s mainly been a starter in his career.
There’s a long way to go in spring training and it would not be surprising to see general manager Matt Klentak add to the list of lefty relief candidates with some type of pickup before the end of camp.
But for now, it’s just these four.
Morgan, who turns 27 on Monday, started and pitched two scoreless innings against the Yankees on Saturday and will likely continue to have his innings stretched out throughout the Grapefruit League season, just in case he’s needed as a starter.
Ramos and Rodriguez both pitched an inning Saturday. Ramos allowed a hit and a run. Rodriguez had a clean inning. Burnett was tagged for two hits and two runs on Friday.
Morgan made 21 starts for the Phillies last season. He also made two relief appearances and finished the season with a 6.04 ERA. He was sent to Triple A in July and returned in mid-August. He made nine starts after returning and pitched at least six innings and gave up two or fewer earned runs in four of them.
During his time in Triple A, Morgan started throwing a two-seam fastball or sinker. He’s continued to throw it this spring and believes it will help him.
“I learned to trust the two-seamer last year and that’s what I hope to keep moving forward with,” he said.
Will it take him to the Phillies’ bullpen?
He hopes so. He got a taste of relieving last season and liked it.
“Oh, yeah, I loved it,” he said. “Every time the phone rang down there, I was on high alert. It was awesome. It’s a rush.
“But wherever I land, I land. I’d be willing to play anywhere on this team.”