Information continues to drip out of the Biogenesis scandal and, Thursday afternoon, Gaby Sanchez of the Pittsburgh Pirates was answering questions about a reported link to Tony Bosch and performance-enhancing drugs.
A book except published in the Miami New Times says that Bosch's records show Sanchez in 2011 met several times with Bosch, reputed to be a PED supplier to Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and other major leaguers. The excerpt also says Sanchez, a teammate of Braun's in college at the University of Miami, failed a drug test there in 2004.
#pirates gaby Sanchez on PED allegation: "I've got no comment on that. I'm here to play baseball." Denies using PEDs.
— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) July 10, 2014
Sanchez's name has come up before during the Biogenesis story, and Major League Baseball was aware of his failed test, but — as authors Tim Elfrink and Gus Garcia-Roberts point out — there apparently hasn't been enough information to punish Sanchez. So it seems unlikely that anything like a suspension would come from these revelations.
Further, the timeline Elfrink and Garcia-Roberts lay out might be off:
Bosch's records suggest he set up several meetings with the Marlins first baseman. By 2011, when it appears the first meeting occurred, Sanchez was struggling desperately and would be shipped back to the minors. One of Bosch's notations next to Sanchez's name is simple: "$$." Sanchez was never suspended over his ties to Biogenesis, and baseball sources say they were unable to conclusively determine whether he was a Bosch client.
Sanchez made the All-Star team in 2011, and though he did slump in the second half, it's unlikely he'd be worried — much less "desperate" — about being demoted. However, his slump continued in 2012 and Sanchez was demoted to Class AAA that season. So maybe Bosch's records, which have been described as notoriously sloppy, are just hard to read.
This season, Sanchez is batting .241 with a .301 on-base percentage and a .440 slugging percentage with five home runs in 153 plate appearances as a platoon player for the Pirates. Given the pitcher-friendly dimensions of PNC Park, those numbers aren't that bad. In fact, his slugging percentage would be his personal best since his rookie season. But, they're not exactly Braun-type MVP numbers, which prompted one snarky commenter on Twitter to say:
@BiertempfelTrib based on his production, I think it was PEZ.
— Dean Leech (@DeanL) July 10, 2014
No matter, it's a little unfair that Sanchez has to respond to questions about drug tests in college 10 years ago, and all of Bosch's records are shady — but that hasn't stopped MLB from securing punishments for other players linked to Bosch. Braun got 65 games in 2013 and A-Rod is benched through this season.
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