Craig Calcaterra


Two minor leaguers suspended for drugs


The usual post-5pm police blotter. One for a drug of abuse, one a second strike for some good old fashioned PEDs:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that two Minor League players have been suspended for violations of the Joint Drug program:

Philadelphia Phillies Minor League right-handed pitcher Skylar Hunter has received a 50-game suspension without pay after a second positive test for a Drug of Abuse. The suspension of Hunter, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws of the South Atlantic League, will be effective at the start of the 2016 SAL season.

Los Angeles Dodgers Minor League right-handed pitcher Adrian Salcedo has received a 144-game suspension without pay following a positive test for a metabolite of Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Program. The suspension of Salcedo, who is currently on the roster of the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers of the Pacific Coast League, will be effective upon the completion of his current suspension.

That current suspension came at the end of last April for use of Tamoxifen, a performance-enhancing substance, and the stimulant Heptaminol. He was with the Twins organization then, released later, so he hasn’t finished his 80-game stint. One more strike and he’s out.

MLB found no evidence that Yasiel Puig struck his sister

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig smiles as he warms up throwing the baseball during a spring training baseball workout Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

A couple of weeks ago there were reports that Yasiel Puig wasn’t expected to be suspended for his involvement in an incident last November at a bar in Miami. Now Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times confirms it officially, with the investigation being formally concluded yesterday.

Specifically, Shaikin reports that Major League Baseball investigators found no evidence to support the claim that Puig hit his sister. In the course of the investigation they interviewed Puig, his sister and witnesses at the club, none of whom said that Puig hit or shoved his sister.

The initial report of the matter came via TMZ which reported a bar fight involving Puig and a bouncer that turned into a group shoving match, but it was unclear if his sister was hit in the course of it, even in the earliest allegations. Based on what has been publicly reported, it’s possible to surmise that the league’s investigation, therefore, was undertaken out of an abundance of caution or based on the mere possibility that a domestic violence incident took place. If that’s the case, MLB seems to have been surprisingly and perhaps commendably proactive in this regard.

UPDATE: MLB has released its formal, and final, statement on the matter:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball has concluded its investigation into an alleged incident involving Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and his sister in a Miami-area nightclub on November 26, 2015.  The investigation included interviews of witnesses, including Puig and his sister, as well as a review of video footage from inside the nightclub at the time of the alleged incident. 


The Office of the Commissioner’s investigation did not uncover any witness who supported the assault allegation; both Puig and his sister denied that an assault occurred; and the available video evidence did not support the allegation.  Thus, barring the receipt of any new information or evidence, no discipline will be imposed on Puig in connection with the alleged incident. 

Puig released a statement as well, via his attorney, Jay Reisinger:

We are pleased that the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball has concluded its investigation with respect to Yasiel.  Yasiel greatly appreciates the support he has received from the Dodgers, his teammates, and other players throughout baseball.  Now that the matter has been resolved and is behind him, Yasiel is looking forward to the 2016 season.

Adam Laroche retired because Kenny Williams didn’t want his son in the clubhouse so much


Adam LaRoche‘s retirement was quite a surprise as he was still under contract for $13 million and, according to reports, was looking pretty good so far this spring. Ken Rosenthal reports, however, that Laroche’s decision was not based on baseball, but on family. Specifically: that White Sox Executive Vice President Ken Williams said that Laroche could no longer bring his 14-year-old son, Drake, into the White Sox clubhouse as often as he typically did. This is underscored by a tweet from Laroche’s brother, former Major Leaguer Andy Laroche which is consistent with the report.

On the surface this seems like a pretty heartless thing for Williams to do. Players’ kids — older ones anyway — can often be seen in major league clubhouses and shagging fly balls before games, so why was Laroche’s son an issue?

According to Kenny Williams it wasn’t that Laroche wanted his son in the clubhouse as such. It was because he wanted him in the clubhouse every single day:

It seems clear that Laroche’s son’s presence was far greater than one usually sees from players’ kids. Last summer Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune wrote an article about Drake Laroche’s constant presence in the clubhouse. And on road trips as well. He was described as a “fixture” in the White Sox’ clubhouse and Adam Laroche referred to him as “the 26th man.” There were a couple of passages in the story which suggested that this was unusual and perhaps not universally well-received:

Players’ children are often seen around ballparks, but few major-league kids have an arrangement like Drake’s, which also includes occasional road trips, and LaRoche said not every organization would embrace it like the Sox have.

The Sox seemed to embrace it last year. They embrace it less now, it seems. We’ve talked a lot lately about the personal lives of players. We’ve also talked about the nature and, in some cases, sanctity of the clubhouse in the eyes of players. There are a lot of competing interests here, many of them emotional. It’s possible that Drake’s presence was wearing thin. It’s likewise possible that communication with Laroche on this point was lacking in some way, either from his end, the White Sox’ end or some combination.

In the meantime, expect this to be a big source of debate around baseball. Indeed, at least one player outside of the Laroche family has already taken a side:

Not that anyone ever overreacts to what Bryce Harper has to say.

*Note: an earlier version of this story referred to the White Sox “barring” Drake Laroche from the clubhouse. That was written before Kenny Williams’ comments on the matter. As such, the story has been revised.