Is Manny the tip of the iceberg?

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The doctor who allegedly prescribed Manny his drugs is under the federal microscope:

As Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez nears the end of his
50-game suspension, Drug Enforcement Administration investigators are
looking at a Miami doctor and his son as the source of his banned
performance-enhancing drug, sources familiar with the investigation
told ESPN . . . Investigators believe the prescription for human
chorionic gonadotropin, known as hCG, was written by Pedro Publio
Bosch, 71, a physician who has practiced family medicine in Florida
since 1976. His son, Anthony Bosch, 45, is believed to have worked as a
contact between his father and Ramirez . . .

. . . Anthony Bosch is well known in Latin American baseball
circles, sources say. His relationships with players date at least from
the earlier part of the decade, when he was seen attending parties with
players and known to procure tickets to big league ballparks,
especially in Boston and New York.

If a doctor is writing improper prescriptions, that’s usually a state
matter (i.e. the medical board). As far as a federal drug crime matter,
the case of Manny Ramirez in and of itself is so small its almost
non-existent. I mean, yes, there’s the suggestion of illegality here,
but there aren’t exactly hordes of marauding female fertility drug
lords shooting up the streets of border towns.

But read that last-quoted bit again — the part about the doctor’s son
knowing lots of ballplayers — and realize that the feds have generally
had their PED-interest limited to those cases in which there are
multiple athletes involved: BALCO, Radomski, McNamee, etc. Then realize
that, despite the fact that Latin players have constituted a
disproportionate number of positive drug tests since the beginning of
the testing program, very few of them were named in the Mitchell Report
or have had their names mentioned in any of the other high-profile
investigations.

Taken together, these facts lead me to wonder whether the Manny
Ramirez affair isn’t the beginning of the next big PED story. The
Latin-BALCO, if you will.

Jose Bautista is starting at third base for the first time in over four years

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Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is getting a rare start at third base today. How rare is it? Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae notes that he last started at third base on April 14, 2013 against the Royals.

Bautista has played some third base already this year. On April 27 against the Cardinals, Bautista pinch-hit for third baseman Chris Coghlan and stayed in the game at the position. Last Saturday, Bautista moved from right field to third base as part of a handful of defensive switches. Overall, he’s played four defensive innings at the hot corner this season.

The Blue Jays have had to get creative at third base while Josh Donaldson has dealt with a calf injury. Darwin Barney and Chris Coghlan have drawn most of the starts at third base, but catcher Russell Martin started there on Sunday and tonight we’ll see Bautista there.

Braves’ bullpen hasn’t allowed a hit to last 54 batters, setting franchise record

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The Braves announced on Tuesday, citing Elias Sports, that the bullpen set a franchise record, preventing the last 54 batters faced from getting a hit.

The last reliever to allow a hit was Josh Collmenter to the first batter he faced against the Blue Jays last Thursday. Since then, the bullpen has logged 15 1/3 scoreless, hitless innings with a 10/4 K/BB ratio. Here are the logs since Collmenter gave up that hit.

Date Opp. Pitcher BF IP H R ER BB SO
May 18 vs. TOR Josh Collmenter 7 2.0 0 0 0 1 1
May 18 vs. TOR Ian Krol 4 1.0 0 0 0 1 1
May 19 vs. WAS Jason Motte 2 0.2 0 0 0 0 0
May 19 vs. WAS Jose Ramirez 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
May 19 vs. WAS Arodys Vizcaino 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 2
May 19 vs. WAS Jim Johnson 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
May 20 vs. WAS Ian Krol 2 0.2 0 0 0 0 1
May 20 vs. WAS Jason Motte 4 1.0 0 0 0 1 0
May 20 vs. WAS Jose Ramirez 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 1
May 20 vs. WAS Arodys Vizcaino 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
May 20 vs. WAS Jim Johnson 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
May 21 vs. WAS Luke Jackson 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 1
May 22 vs. PIT Jason Motte 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 2
May 22 vs. PIT Jose Ramirez 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
May 22 vs. PIT Arodys Vizcaino 4 1.0 0 0 0 1 1
May 22 vs. PIT Jim Johnson 4 1.0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 54 15.1 0 0 0 4 10

Despite the hot streak lately, the Braves’ bullpen still ranks in the middle of the pack in ERA at 4.07. Its 21.3 percent strikeout rate ranks 18th out of 30 teams and its 8.6 percent walk rate is ninth.