Indians outfielder Abraham Almonte suspended 80 games for PEDs

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Abraham Almonte, who was slated to be the Indians’ starting center fielder this season, has been suspended 80 games by MLB following a positive test for a performance-enhancing drug.

Cleveland may already be without All-Star left fielder Michael Brantley to begin the season due to shoulder surgery, so losing Almonte for the first three months is a particularly big blow to the Indians’ outfield depth and puts recent minor-league signing Will Venable in much better position to crack the Opening Day roster.

Almonte bounced around before landing with the Indians in the middle of last season and played his way into an extended opportunity by hitting .264 with five homers and a .776 OPS in 51 games. He never put up huge numbers in the minors, so it’s possible that by the time Almonte is eligible to return from his 80-game suspension the Indians will have moved on from the 26-year-old.

Tyler Glasnow scheduled to rejoin Rays’ rotation

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to rejoin the rotation at Cleveland after missing nearly 14 months because of Tommy John surgery.

The Rays’ Opening Day starter last year hasn’t pitched this season after undergoing the procedure on Aug. 4, 2021.

“I think we’re pretty confident he’ll be starting for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before the game with Toronto. “This is the first time he’s thrown pain-free in quite some time, so he’s encouraged by it.”

The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts last year and is a key addition as the Rays near a wild-card spot.

“Compared to the past, like, three years it feels way better as far as postday and the week leading into starts and stuff,” Glasnow said. “It’s good to have an UCL, you know.”

Cash said Glasnow will throw around 45 pitches in his initial outing, which should allow him to go two or three innings.

“Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team,” Cash said. “Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don’t, that’s fine, too.”

Glasnow allowed one run, one hit, four walks and had 14 strikeouts over seven innings in four starts with Triple-A Durham.

“I’m really excited,” Glasnow said. “I’m approaching it like normal, staying on routine. Feels normal.”

Glasnow signed a two-year, $30.35 million contract that will delay the start of his free agency by one year last month. He’s making $5.1 million this year and will get $5.35 million next season and $25 million in 2024, which is the first year he would have been eligible for free agency.