Tag: Jesus Montero

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Report: Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun among players MLB seeks to suspend for Biogensis connection


Performance-enhancing drugs loomed large entering the baseball season, amid reports that dozens of players — many of them high-profile stars — could be suspended because of their reported involvement with a clinic that supplied PEDs.

That story just got bigger.

From ESPN.com investigative reporters T.J. Quinn, Pedro Gomez and Mike Fish:

Major League Baseball will seek to suspend about 20 players connected to the Miami-area clinic at the heart of an ongoing performance-enhancing drug scandal, including Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun, possibly within the next few weeks, “Outside the Lines” has learned. If the suspensions are upheld, the performance-enhancing drug scandal would be the largest in American sports history.

Tony Bosch, the former director of the Miami-based Biogenesis clinic, is “expected to begin meeting with officials — and naming names — within a week,” according to the ESPN.com report. A source familiar with the case confirmed to The Associated Press early Wednesday morning that Bosch has indeed agreed to talk to MLB about players linked to PEDs, and that Bosch’s information could lead to suspensions. The suspensions could be issued within two weeks, though there’s likely to be an appeals process and that may take a few months.

NBCSports.com reached both Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association on Tuesday night, but both declined to comment. Terry Fahn, Rodriguez’s publicist as of January, said to contact New York publicist Ron Berkowitz; Berkowitz declined to comment when reached by phone.

MORE: A closer look at the players facing potential suspensions

The commissioner’s office will be seeking 100-game punishments for Braun and A-Rod because they both committed two offenses — the initial doping and then lying to Major League Baseball officials. The typical punishment for first-time performance-enhancing drug offenders is a 50-game suspension.

Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez is not a candidate for suspension, according to Quinn, because Bosch is expected to confirm to the investigators that Gio only bought league-approved substances. Some of the other names that were found in the Biogenesis documents: Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Yasmani Grandal, Nelson Cruz, Francisco Cervelli, Jesus Montero, Jhonny Peralta, Cesar Puello, Fernando Martinez, Everth Cabrera, Fautino de los Santos and Jordan Norberto.

MORE: Why a mass suspension would be a mass fail

The Biogenesis news broke in late January, when it was reported by multiple outlets that Major League Baseball was investigating Bosch under the suspicion that his clinic represented “ground zero” for performance enhancing drugs in Florida, where a disproportionate number of major leaguers grew up, played amateur and college baseball or where they currently make their offseason homes. On January 29, the Miami New Times obtained and published a large portion of the Biogenesis clinic’s records which contained the names of several major leaguers accompanied in many cases by notations which suggested that the players were given performance enhancing drugs. The documents were not conclusive of any player’s use and, in some cases — like with Gio Gonzalez — no connection could be found between the player and any substances which are banned by Major League Baseball.

Immediately after the Miami New Times report came out all of the players involved either denied any involvement with Biogenesis whatsoever or denied that they obtained banned substances.  For example, Gonzalez claims that his father was a patient of Bosch’s. Ryan Braun claims that his attorneys used Bosch as a consultant in his successful 2012 appeal of his PED suspension. Despite the denials, the report and the documents set off a media firestorm which caused Major League Baseball to step up its investigation of the players named therein.

Michael Pineda cleared to begin rehab assignment

Michael Pineda Reuters

Michael Pineda has been cleared to take a big step in his long road back from shoulder surgery, as the Yankees right-hander is scheduled to begin a minor-league rehab assignment Saturday at Single-A.

Pineda has been throwing in extended spring training without any setbacks and Dan Martin of the New York Post reports that he threw 65 pitches in his last outing there.

Pineda has yet to appear in a regular season game for the Yankees, who acquired him from the Mariners for then-stud prospect Jesus Montero in January of 2012. He showed a ton of promise as a 22-year-old rookie in 2011, striking out 173 batters in 171 innings, but at this point no one seems quite sure what to expect from Pineda.

Jesus Montero out 4-6 weeks with torn meniscus

Jesus Montero Getty

Jesus Montero batted just .208 with three home runs and a .590 OPS prior to being demoted to Triple-A Tacoma last month, but his season has taken another disappointing turn.

Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that Montero was diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his left knee and will undergo surgery next week. He’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks, which places his return around midseason.

Montero was hitting .250 (7-for-28) with three doubles, one triple, and two RBI over his first seven games in Triple-A. He has mostly played first base since his demotion, as the Mariners are almost ready to throw in the towel on the idea of using him as a catcher. However, the transition process will have to wait a few weeks.

Michael Pineda is close to beginning a rehab assignment

Michael Pineda Reuters

Here’s a little twist to the news that the Mariners are going to send Jesus Montero back to Triple-A: Michael Pineda, whom the Yankees acquired for Montero only to watch him get hurt, is almost ready to begin a minor-league rehab assignment.

General manager Brian Cashman told Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger that Pineda threw five innings at the Yankees’ extended spring training complex in Florida today and reached 93 miles per hour with his fastball.

Pineda has never pitched for the Yankees, missing all of last season following shoulder surgery, but he’s still just 24 years old and was excellent as a rookie for the Mariners in 2011. All of a sudden declaring a winner in that trade isn’t so simple.

Jesus Montero is going to be sent down to Triple-A

Jesus Montero Getty

So, if Michael Pineda makes an appearance in New York in the second half, do all the folks who said the Mariners won that trade have to eat crow? From the Tacoma News-Tribune:

On the heels of a six-game losing streak and a 2-7 road trip, the Seattle Mariners will make an expected and needed roster move sometime today. Catcher Jesus Montero will be sent to Triple A Tacoma, while catcher Jesus Sucre will be selected from the Rainiers.

Montero is having an awful year, hitting .208/.264/.327.  This as a “catcher”/DH who can’t really catch.

He’s still just 23 and has shown flashes of competence and more since he’s been up. But those who have tried to assess his future and grade the trade that sent him away from New York have to acknowledge that they’ve been dealing with a pretty raw set of goods.