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38 Minor Leaguers Suspended for Steroid Violations

Associated Press
Tuesday, April 5, 2005; Page D08

NEW YORK, April 4 -- Seattle's Damian Moss and the Anaheim's Francisco Cordova were among 38 players suspended Monday for violating baseball's minor league steroid policy.

Oakland's David Castillo was suspended for 60 games, the penalty for a third violation. All the others were suspended for 15 games, the ban given to first offenders.

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Eight of the 38 positives came from the Seattle organization, seven from the Chicago Cubs, five each from Anaheim, Oakland and Texas, and four from San Diego. There were two from Colorado, and one each from St. Louis and the Chicago White Sox.

The commissioner's office said one suspension was the result of offseason testing and the rest stemmed from 925 tests conducted during spring training.

Last year, about 1.7 percent of the minor league tests for steroid use were positive, baseball spokesman Pat Courtney said.

On Sunday, Tampa Bay outfielder Alex Sanchez was suspended for 10 days, becoming the first major league player penalized under the sport's toughened testing rules. Players with minor league contracts, who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, are tested for more banned substances. Amphetamines are on the minor league banned list but are not covered by the major league policy.

Ten of the players suspended have been released.

Also suspended for 15 games were Elvis Avendano (Oakland), Lizahio Baez (Texas), Oscar Bernard (Cubs), David Cash (Cubs), Troy Cate (Seattle), Robinson Chirinos (Cubs), Ryan Christianson (Seattle), William Collazo (Anaheim), Renee Cortez (Seattle), Matthew Craig (Cubs), Jason Diangelo (Colorado), Jose Espinal (White Sox), Omar Falcon (Seattle), Paul Frisella (St. Louis), Jesus Guzman (Seattle), Justin Hatcher (Texas), Javier Herrera (Oakland), William Hogan (Seattle), Kevin Jacobo (San Diego), Ryan Leahy (Anaheim), Baltazar Lopez (Anaheim), Luis Perez (Oakland), Nathan Sevier (San Diego), Carlos Vazquez (Cubs) and Neil Wilson (Colorado).

The released players who were suspended were Willy Espinal (Texas), Alexander Francisco (Anaheim), Clay Hensley (San Diego), Robert Machado (Texas), Jesus Medrano (Cubs), Jacobo Meque (San Diego), Kevin Reinking (Cubs), Christopher Russ (Texas), Mayobanex Santana (Oakland) and Darwin Soto (Seattle).

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