Chris Davis suspended 25 games for amphetamine use

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Orioles first baseman/third baseman Chris Davis has been suspended 25 games by MLB after testing positive for amphetamines. The suspension is effective immediately and includes the playoffs in addition to the Orioles’ final 17 regular season games.

Davis had a career-year in 2013, hitting .286 with a league-leading 53 homers and 138 RBIs on the way to finishing third in the MVP balloting, but he’s been a mess this season with a .196 batting average and league-high 173 strikeouts in 127 games while his OPS has dropped 300 points.

Suspensions for amphetamines have been common in recent years, mostly among minor leaguers. Cameron Maybin of the Padres was suspended 25 games for amphetamines in July and other big leagues to receive amphetamine-based suspensions recently include Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies, Miguel Tejada of the Marlins, and Troy Patton of the Orioles.

Davis said in a statement that he will not appeal the suspension, so he’d be available for the Orioles’ ninth playoff game if they make it past the opening round. Here’s the rest of his statement:

I apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Orioles organization and especially the fans. I made a mistake by taking Adderall. I had permission to use it in the past, but do not have a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) this year. I accept my punishment and will begin serving my suspension immediately.

If accurate, Davis got suspended for taking something MLB allowed him to take last season and players on every MLB roster are similarly allowed to take this season.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.