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.