The Philadelphia Phillies will be without their All-Star catcher, Carlos Ruiz, for the first 25 games next season. Ruiz was suspended for testing positive for a banned stimulant. He will serve the suspension at the start of the 2013 season, but he will be able to participate in spring training.
According to David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News, Ruiz tested positive for Adderal, a drug commonly used to treat ADD. The drug is common among football players, and a few have been suspended this year for using the amphetamine. Under baseball's drug testing policy, a player who tests positive for an amphetamine is not immediately suspended. The player is tested again, and a second positive test will result in the suspension. Such is the case for Ruiz. He did not dispute the positive test.
"I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant," Ruiz said in a statement that was released by the Major League Baseball Players Association. "I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization, and the Philadelphia fans."Ruiz made his first All-Star team last season. He hit .325/.394/.540 with 16 home runs. He was one of the few bright spots on a team that struggled mightily in 2012. His added power and improved batting averaged helped the team adjust to missing Ryan Howard for most of the season. In his career, Ruiz is a .275/.363/.418 hitter.
The loss of Ruiz will be tough for Philadelphia. They need every offensive threat they can get. The team is trying to rebuild and climb back up in the division to re-assert themselves as a competitor. However, losing an All-Star catcher who can hit .300+ will certainly set them back.