We hadn’t heard much about the Biogenesis clinic since spring training, but on Tuesday night it re-entered the news in a big way.
T.J. Quinn, Pedro Gomez and Mike Fish of ESPN.com have reported that Major League Baseball is preparing to suspend Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez and about 20 more players that have been connected to the clinic. The possible suspensions would come as a result of testimony from Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch, who reportedly is willing to admit that he gave players performance-enhancing drugs as long as the league drops its lawsuit against him.
Both Braun and A-Rod reportedly could receive 100-game suspensions rather than the standard 50-game ban, as MLB will attempt to argue that they committed one violation for their connection to Biogenesis and another for lying about their PED use.
Other players that have been connected to Biogenesis include Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Yasmani Grandal, Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, Everth Cabrera, Francisco Cervelli and Jesus Montero, among others. Gio Gonzalez and Robinson Cano have also been connected with the clinic, but they’re not expected to face punishment.
Assuming suspensions are indeed handed down, which reportedly could happen within a couple weeks, most, if not all, players are expected to appeal. Given that MLB took four and a half months to rule on Braun’s previous appeal of a positive test, it’s anyone’s guess as to how long it will take to rule on potentially 20+ appeals. It’s possible it might not even get done this season.
There’s still plenty of uncertainty surrounding the situation, but fantasy owners obviously should begin to look for contingency plans to have in place.
Yasiel Puig had an impressive highlight to end his first major league game on Monday. His encore Tuesday was much better.
The Cuban import started off his night with a measly double in his first at-bat. After a groundout in his second plate appearance, he launched a mammoth three-run blast in the fifth inning to tie the game with the Padres up. The next time up, he went deep again.
In his first eight major league plate appearances, Puig has two singles, a double and two home runs. The 22-year-old is certainly living up to the hype early on.
It will be interesting to see what the Dodgers do if Puig keeps hitting. He’s given the team a much-needed jolt of energy, and even manager Don Mattingly was unable to hide his grin in Tuesday’s postgame interview.
The problem, of course, is that the club has Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier in the outfield. It’s hard to imagine any of them getting benched, and Crawford and Kemp will likely both be back from the disabled list later this month.
It could all become a moot point if Puig fades over the next few weeks, which is a distinct possibility given that the guy had 40 games of experience above A-ball prior to his promotion. If he remains hot and the club decides to keep him around, Mattingly could start Puig against left-handed pitching, giving both Crawford and Ethier rest, but would they keep him up if he's not going to play every day? The team could also entertain the idea of trading Ethier, though they’d reportedly have to eat half of his contract to do it.
Regardless, it appears that Puig will be fun to watch while he’s here.
The Nationals finally determined Tuesday that Danny Espinosa could no longer play with a bone chip floating around in his right wrist, placing him on the disabled list. To take his spot on the roster, top prospect Anthony Rendon was recalled.
Rendon recently has been given a crash course at second base in the minors, and although he’s played just eight games as a professional at the position, the Nats are willing to live with some defensive mishaps in order to get his bat into the lineup.
Steve Lombardozzi got the start at second on Tuesday and should still see some time at the keystone, but the position will primarily be Rendon’s. Ranked prior to the season by Baseball America as the No. 30 prospect in the game, Rendon has batted .307/.452/.575 with six homers and 24 RBI over 36 games between Double- and Triple-A this year. He had six hits in 25 at-bats in an earlier stint with the Nats.
As far as Espinosa goes, it sounds like there’s a good chance he’ll be optioned to Triple-A once healthy, though the Nats wouldn’t confirm that that will definitely happen.
“That decision hasn’t been made yet,” general manager Mike Rizzo said in the Washington Post. “We’re certainly going to put him in a position to get his feet on the ground and get his rhythm back as a hitter, mechanically and mentally. He’s going to be a guy we need. He’s going to be a guy that we’re going to count on some time this year.”
Rendon should be owned in all mixed leagues, while Espinosa can probably be safely dropped.
National League Quick Hits: Giancarlo Stanton (hamstring) began a rehab assignment with High-A Jupiter Tuesday ... Josh Beckett will not need surgery for a nerve issue in his pitching hand, but he’ll be shut down for the next four weeks ...Tim Lincecum tossed seven innings of one-run ball against the Blue Jays Tuesday, which was just his second quality start in his last seven tries ... Pablo Sandoval went 0-for-3 at the plate in his return from a strained foot ... Hanley Ramirez went 0-for-3 with a sac fly in his return from a hamstring strain ... Daniel Hudson will have his surgically-repaired right elbow examined after feeling some stiffness ... Brandon Phillips (forearm) is expected to sit out again Wednesday but should return on Friday ... Marco Estrada (hamstring) could require a stint on the disabled list ... Chris Capuano has been placed on the DL with a strained lat ... Carlos Ruiz (hamstring) is aiming to rejoin the Phillies' lineup on June 17 ... Stephen Strasburg (lat) will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and expects to be ready to start Saturday ... The Nationals designated Henry Rodriguez for assignment ...
American League Quick Hits: Jake Peavy will undergo an MRI on his ribs Wednesday and will almost surely miss at least his next start ... A quad strain has forced Asdrubal Cabrera to the DL ... The Rangers will discuss a way to carry Jurickson Profar on the roster after Ian Kinsler (ribs) returns ... Josh Johnson allowed two runs – one earned – over seven innings against the Giants Tuesday in his return from the DL ... Yoenis Cespedes went 3-for-5 with a pair of homers against the Brewers Tuesday ... Mark Teixeira followed a grand slam Monday with a three-run homer on Tuesday ... Daniel Nava went 3-for-4 with four runs scored Tuesday and is now hitting .307/.405/.500 through 52 games ... Austin Jackson (hamstring) will attempt to resume running later this week ... Jose Reyes (ankle) could begin a rehab assignment in a couple weeks ... Adrian Beltre (hamstring) is expected to be back in the lineup on Wednesday ... Nick Markakis will not play Wednesday or Thursday in order to attend his grandmother's funeral ... Jacoby Ellsbury (groin) could return Wednesday ... Eduardo Nunez (oblique) had another setback Tuesday while attempting to swing a bat ... The Royals claimed Quintin Berry off waivers from the Tigers ... Michael Pineda (shoulder) will begin a rehab assignment Saturday...