The Indians expected Abraham Almonte to be their primary centerfielder this season. Instead, Almonte will be watching the first half of the season from the outside, as he has been suspended for 80 games after testing positive for Boldenone, a steroid classified as a PED by MLB.
Almonte is certainly not the first to do something illegal to attempt to gain a competitive edge. Last year, his story of going from recovery from alcoholism to MLB success was inspiring to many, myself included. Now, those accomplishments are all called into question.
Almonte is not the first athlete to disappoint us in Cleveland, just the latest, and unlikely to be the last. He is expected to speak with the press today and so we will hear from him the why and how of what happened. Regardless of why he did it, he got caught and his selfishness will hurt not only himself, but also his team and their fans in a city starved for a championship.
Indians' Abraham Almonte suspended 80 games | MLB.com - It marks the first positive test for Almonte, who is eligible to participate in Spring Training but must begin serving his suspension at the start of the regular season.
How Cleveland Indians can withstand losses of Michael Brantley, Abraham Almonte: Paul Hoynes | cleveland.com - Three ways the Indians can counteract Michael Brantley's injury and Abraham Almonte's suspension.
Indians: Outfielder Abraham Almonte suspended 80 games for positive PED test result - Chronicle-Telegram - As late as Friday morning, Francona spoke glowingly of Almonte and his contributions in 2015. The native of the Dominican Republic is expected to address the media today in Goodyear.
Will Venable's arrival came at a convenient time: Cleveland Indians morning briefing | cleveland.com - General manager Mike Chernoff said the Indians were simply waiting for Venable to settle for a non-roster spot. If that's the case, that's convenient timing.
Danny Salazar's unique split-change effective | MLB.com - According to data culled by Baseball Info Solutions, Salazar's changeup had a weighted runs above average rating of 19.3 last season. The only qualified pitcher in the Major Leagues with a better changeup was ace Zack Greinke (20.1).
Around the League
- Not surprisingly, the pre-season odds favor Kansas City to repeat.
- Dexter Fowler signs with the Cubs, not the Orioles, raising questions about the Qualifiying Offer system.
- Fangraphs has another solution to the QO problem.
- Edwin Encarnacion wants to stay a Blue Jay