MLB notebook: Braves minor leaguer suspended
CINCINNATI ó Atlanta Braves minor leaguer Rafael Cruz, 32, has been suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Baseball announced on Tuesday that the right-handed reliever tested positive for traces of Stanozolol, a manmade steroid.
The right-hander is 1-1 in eight relief appearances for Triple-A Gwinnett. He signed a minor league deal as a free agent in January after spending the past two years with Chunichi in Japan. He didn’t pitch for Chunichi last season because of injuries.
* CINCINNATI ó Atlanta activated first baseman Casey Kotchman off the 15-day disabled list.
First baseman Barbaro Canizares was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett to open a spot.
BALTIMORE ó New York Mets left-hander Johan Santana insists his left knee isn’t hurt and said location was the only problem he experienced while surrendering a career-high nine runs in a 15-0 loss to the New York Yankees.
Santana reacted with surprise to comments from former pitching coach Rick Peterson, who told a New York radio station that he’d heard a rumor that Santana was dealing with a bum left knee.
“How does he know my knee hurts? That’s the question that I have. Tell me, how did he find that out? It is crazy,” Santana said. “Not even the trainers know. Not even me. I didn’t know my knee hurts, just put it that way.”
ARLINGTON, Texas ó Ivan Rodriguez tied the major league record for games played as a catcher Tuesday night, when he caught against his original team.
Rodriguez, now with the Houston Astros, caught his 2,226th career game against Texas, the team for which he made his major league debut at age 19 in 1991.
Pudge matched Carlton Fisk, a Hall of Famer who played for Boston (1969-80) and the Chicago White Sox (1981-93).
ST. LOUIS ó Khalil Greene will likely be at a new position when he’s ready to return to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Greene has been playing third base instead of his usual shortstop during a rehab assignment he began last week. He’s been on the disabled list, dealing with social anxiety problems, and was 6-for-15 with two doubles and two RBIs at Triple-A Memphis.
Manager Tony La Russa says switching positions could lessen the pressure on Greene, who played third base in college at Clemson.
NEW YORK ó Nationals manager Manny Acta says he’s not worried about getting fired, even following one of the worst starts in major league history.
“I don’t worry about rumors,” he said Tuesday. “When your number is up, your number is up. And I don’t spend time worrying about that because if I worry and listen and answer to every one of the things that are going to be said about me, I won’t have enough time to prepare myself and put this club together.”
Foxsports.com reported Saturday that Acta will be replaced by bench coach Jim Riggleman.
SAN DIEGO ó San Diego Padres pitcher Chris Young will miss at least one start with a shoulder ailment he said Tuesday.
SAN FRANCISCO ó Angels reliever Scot Shields has undergone season-ending surgery on his left knee.
ST. LOUIS ó Struggling Detroit pitcher Dontrelle Willis will not make his next scheduled start, manager Jim Leyland said.