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Minor-league C Taveras suspended

Feb 8, 2011, 10:18 PM EDT

Hector Taveras, a 22-year-old catcher in the Nationals’ farm system, has been suspended 25 games for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Taveras, who played last season in the rookie Gulf Coast League, will begin serving his suspension on Opening Day. His punishment is not for testing positive for any performance enhancing drugs.

[UPDATE -- According to the Associated Press, Taveras was found in possession of an unauthorized syringe.]

A native of the Dominican Republic, Taveras has played only one season in the United States. He hit .291 with 24 RBI in 39 games at the GCL in Viera, Fla., and went 2-for-3 with a triple in a brief appearance at low-Class A Hagerstown.

Taveras is the second minor-league catcher from the Nationals’ system to be suspended in the last week. Adrian Nieto, a 21-year-old who spent last season at Hagerstown, received a 50-game suspension on Thursday after testing positive for two performance enhancing drugs.

  1. rmoore446 - Feb 8, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    So if it wasn't performance enhancing, it must be for using a "recreational" drug? At least this guy shows some promise at the plate.

  2. Anonymous - Feb 8, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    He's a bit old for the rookie league at 22. This shows a breakdown organizationally and systemically. There have been way too may instances of this occurring within this organization. Certainly it is something Mike Rizzo and the FO should address immediately.

  3. Waddu eye no - Feb 8, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    catch the buzz about a catcher catching a buzz?

  4. natscan reduxit - Feb 9, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    … I hope and pray this – the second episode in a week – isn't indicative of some underlying and potentially dangerous problem.Go Nats!

  5. Pilchard - Feb 9, 2011 at 12:31 AM

    Wonder if this will adversely impact Taveras' ability to get a visa to come back to the US for the season. I know that Smiley is unable to get one because he previously lied about his age and identity on his visa when Smiley was in the GCL.

  6. Theophilus - Feb 9, 2011 at 12:34 AM

    This guy is no better than the seventh catcher in the organization (I-Rod, Ramos, Flores, Norris, Soltano (sp?), Leon). The only way he gets behind home plate at Nationals Park is as a groundskeeper. The story really isn't worth the bandwidth to publish. The only way it's interesting is as a sidebar to the WaPo series on the Nats in the DR. More joy, more smiles.

  7. Theophilus - Feb 9, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    Pilchard is probably right about the visa.

  8. sec3mysofa - Feb 9, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    If I'm not mistaken (a frequent occurence), syringes are both against the rules and against the law, without a Rx. Even if it is only for ummm, vitamin B, yeah, that's the ticket, vitamin B. I do wonder if bad teams would have disproportionately more of these problems, because they'd have more guys on the bubble–guys hanging on in pro ball by their fingernails. Just a thought.

  9. Anonymous - Feb 9, 2011 at 1:13 AM

    And that would be a tough story to do…the guys who *aren't* going to make it. The anti-Harpers, so to speak.Sec3

  10. Andrew - Feb 9, 2011 at 1:20 AM

    Nats sign Alex Cintron. Crowded infield.

  11. JayB - Feb 9, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    OK NOW THAT MAKES ME PISSED…..ALEX CINTRON HAD HIS CHANCE….Acta refused to stop playin him loss after loss.WHY IN God's GREEN EARTH WOULD YOU SIGN HIM 3 years after cutting him…what has he proven…what the F*#% is Rizzo thinking here…..If nothing else he should be banned from Nats system just to keep the losing vibe of Acta out….we are just now purging that stench and they sign on of the poster child's of that 2009 losing machine. UNBELIEVABLE!

  12. Anonymous - Feb 9, 2011 at 2:02 AM

    JayB,He spent the entire season as a backup on the Mets AAA team. What do you think he will be doing this year? Probably the same role in Syracuse. Last year they lost Seth Bynum due to the PED suspension. They had to run around and get Bixler. Who plays third base in Syracuse? Short? Second? We know Marerro will probably be at first along with Michael Aubrey. Perhaps Tyler Moore? If Espinosa comes north with the big club who will play those positions in AAA?The Nats aren't yet that deep in prospects. Another 2 drafts and they should be pretty far along all things considered … and hopefully an improved International presence especially in the Dominican. Meanwhile, they need some veteran players for the Chiefs not just the Nationals.

  13. Anonymous - Feb 9, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    If you're not cheating you're not trying…

  14. Anonymous - Feb 9, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    There is no try.

  15. NatBiscuit - Feb 9, 2011 at 3:29 AM

    I understand the angst against Alex. He really is not MLB roster worthy, but that seems rather the point. The purpose here has to be backup at AAA. He's not even in the starting infield among the other minor league veterans not to mention the prospects. (But it would be seriously disappointing if he were needed on the MLB roster)

  16. BinM - Feb 9, 2011 at 3:44 AM

    This news is just dissapointing to me; Yet another Nationals player under suspension for a PED/Drug violation. I had hope for Taveras as a possible 'player of note' in coming seasons; Maybe he bounces back from this, but more likely he doesn't, and that's the shame of it.

  17. Anonymous - Feb 9, 2011 at 4:08 AM

    As to Alex Cintron, once again, JayB has it: only bad teams sign minor-league retreads like former Nats farmhands Brad Eldred, Pete Orr, and Zack Segovia. Wait, what's that you say, those scrubs were signed by the Giants, Yankees, and Phillies, the last three World Series Champions? You mean every single team in baseball signs minor league free agents every single year to fill out minor league rosters?You mean JayB again doesn't have a clue what he's talking about?

  18. JayB - Feb 9, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    Don't sign the same Minor League Retread 3 years after he a poster child for your franchise's Managers ineptitude. Alex went what 1 of 30 in daily pinch hit roles made errors in the field for Acta until he was cut 3 years ago in May…..There are tons of options….do not go get Boone, Lopez, Guzman, Cintron, types……don't make me look up all the ex Reds types who have had that role and sucked….get someone new who has not proven he is done at least. Just adding the name out weights any value to the organization…..it is a three step backwards to in order to not take any step forward….

  19. JayB - Feb 9, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    Pokie Reese….just one more of so many of these 2 month wash outs that Nats have put at SS/2B as a back up…..Here's an idea….develop you own talent and have it ready to plug in…..AND Cintron is taking up room at MLB Camp and polluting the atmosphere….think of the 20 or so guys and ZIMM that was there for 2008 ST MLB CAMP looking around at him and saying…..here we go again.

  20. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 9, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    Actually, I think the Nats did this just to piss off JayB. He went to bed pissed and he woke up pissed.Can't wait for the next blast of venom to come spewing forth.

  21. JayB - Feb 9, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Njack…..do you think this signing was a good move….given the very limited value was the cost worth it. Do you think having Alex Cintron or his types form past Nats values days show up on day one of MLB camp is a good move? Simple question….no venom…just want to know what you think?

  22. Anonymous - Feb 9, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Mark, it seems like we have a PED problem in the minors. Is this something that is unique to the Nats or the entire league?

  23. Anonymous - Feb 9, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Where did it say he was invited to major league camp? I didn't see that.

  24. JayB - Feb 9, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    He is…read the Press release….

  25. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 9, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    There is a board with slots on it that a GM looks at everday and it usually goes 60 – 70 deep. It isn't a board made up of the organizations rankings of their own roster. It's a board listing the slots that they want to fill through out the organization and includes role players for every level. The board gets pared down as time goes toward the 25 man roster date.This signing fills a role that may only last 30 days. Hell… the contract he signed probably has time limitations that protect both the player and the team. Every team does this. How else does a guy like Maxwell land on the 40 man roster of the Yankees?Nothing to get excited about. I got over A.J. Cole in less than 48 hours but somehow, I can't see you letting this sort of stuff go. It's like you feel there is an underlying conspiracy by Rizzo and the Lerners when all it is is filling out an initial Spring Training roster with the potential for becoming minor league fodder.There's more to this than can be explained on a blog but I can tell you that Alex Citron was going to be in a ML camp somewhere. He just happened to end up here.

  26. Anonymous - Feb 9, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    "WASHINGTON — The Nationals have signed infielder Alex Cintron to a Minor League deal, according to his agent, Burton Rocks. Cintron was able to get a deal done after talking to general manager Mike Rizzo on the phone last week. This will be Cintron's second stint with the Nationals. He played with the club in 2009, going 2-for-26 [.077] before he was given his unconditional release in June of that year. This past season, Cintron played in the Mets' Minor League system. The switch-hitting Cintron has played in nine big leagues seasons, hitting .275 with 33 home runs and 222 RBIs."This came from nationals.com, presumably it's the "press release" JayB is talking about. Nowhere does it say that Cintron received an invitation to major league camp. He signed a minor league deal, that is all. He's not on the 40 man roster, nor is he a non-roster invitee to major league camp. In other words, he'll be roster filler somewhere in the Nats minor league system.Looks like not only can JayB not speak or write at above a kindergarten level, his reading comprehension skills are similarly lacking.

  27. natscan reduxit - Feb 9, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    Hi,… I wonder if I can ask my Nats fans community a personal question. Can anyone tell me how high school baseball teams schedule a season? I'm specifically interested in northern schools, in areas where winter actually means cold and snow. … do schools begin playing in spring, continue thru' summer (when there are no classes) and conclude in the fall when school starts up again. Or do they play a very short season either in the spring or the fall?… any light you can shed on this for me will be gratefully received.

  28. Sunderland - Feb 9, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    State educational systems and school districts limit the time frame of all school sports. They all have stop and start dates.Maryland has three sports seasons in high school.Fall (football, volleyball, soccer, cross country, field hockey)Winter (basketball, swimming, wrestling)Spring (baseball,softball, lacrosse, tennis, track)I don't know the specific dates, but they generally start practice for spring in mid-Feb, games in early March, and conclude regular play in May and championship rounds before school gets out in June.http://www.mpssaa.org/

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 9, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Just checked MLB Trade Rumors and they sure don't mention an invitation to ML camp for Citron. I believe he will be there, though, as not all invitees are formally listed. I expect we'll see Sammy Solis, A.J. Cole, and possibly Robbie Ray among others when pitchers and catchers report over the week end.

  30. JayB - Feb 9, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Here is the point….go somewhere else…we he is associated with the most inept time in Nationals history…..30 or so straight outs with PH opportunities with Acta…..Just not a good fit here…wrong guy at the wrong time. And as NJack says…he is in MLB Camp…ABM you are wrong

  31. JayB - Feb 9, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    He was listed as a NRI somewhere….if I am wrong them I take it all back…but I do not think I am wrong….Mark?

  32. natscan reduxit - Feb 9, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    … thank you Sunderland. That info helps a lot.

  33. Anonymous8 - Feb 9, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    Citron accepted a Minor League role last year and will again this year as in his life it is that or playing for food money in independent ball. AAA is still a better job than the alternatives.

  34. Mark Zuckerman - Feb 9, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Cintron will not be in big-league camp, which may explain why the Nats haven't put out a press release on his signing. They usually only announce a minor-league contract if it includes an invite to big-league camp.Let's not make more of this than it is: The Nats do not envision Alex Cintron playing any role on their big-league roster this year. He won't be taking at-bats away from anyone else of consequence. He'll get a chance to come to minor-league camp and show if he can still play or not. If he can, he ends up at Syracuse. If he can't, he'll be cut before the end of camp. No harm, no foul.Sometimes, teams just do a favor for a player or agent they know, give him one last shot to make it. It happens all the time, and the Nats certainly aren't alone in doing this sort of thing.

  35. Anonymous - Feb 9, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Kilgore: "The Nats added Cintron purely for minor league depth, and he will not participate in major league camp."Me: JayB is an idiot. And so are the voices in his head that supply his "press releases."

  36. Anonymous8 - Feb 9, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Pass the towels over to JayB because he has to wipe the egg off his face.JayB, your rant was irresponsible and then you make up stories. You become the boy who cried wolf.How can we believe your observations when you get caught in trivial garbage that could be construed as just a BOLDFACE LIE.Next time you tell us that you saw Norris play in person and you observed his defensive shortfalls, should we believe it?.

  37. Anonymous8 - Feb 9, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Mark Z. In other Rumors can you confirm that the Nats just paid out 2 bonuses of over $100,000 each to Dominican prospects?Thanks.

  38. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 9, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    I still stand on my statement that several players NOT listed on the ML Invitee list will be in camp next week. Citron may or may not be there when position players reportt but I would be suprised if he isn't.

  39. John C. - Feb 9, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    So, JayB read something too quickly and carelessly, got the content wrong and posted a comment on an internet board based on that misread. Let he who is without sin throw the first stone. For me, his comment "if I am wrong I take it all back" ends the line for me.I certainly disagree with JayB on a routine basis, but he's already 90% copped to his error and once he reads Mark Z's response I expect him to close the loop. After that it's just piling on.

  40. Anonymous - Feb 9, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    Cintron probably will be in Viera next week. He may even set foot on the same field as major league invitees. But as soon as minor league camp opens, a week or two after major league camp does, he'll be gone.NatsJack knows the score. JayB as usual doesn't have a clue.

  41. Theophilus - Feb 9, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    Who knows? Cintron may have discovered a non-detectable PED and be on track for 50 HR and 50 SB. Or, if he has 30 RBI at Syracuse by end of May, will JayB be clamoring for a call up?

  42. Anonymous - Feb 9, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    I decided to search on the Alex Cintron signing. I found this:"Veteran infielder Alex Cintron played with the Nationals in 2009. (Alex Brandon/AP) WASHINGTON — The Nationals have signed infielder Alex Cintron to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training, according to his agent, Burton Rocks. Cintron was able to get a deal done after talking to General Manager Mike Rizzo on the phone last week. This will be Cintron's second stint with the Nationals. He played with the club in 2009, going 2-for-26 [.077] before he was given his unconditional…"Clicking the link that this is a teaser for takes you to the Nats' site with no information regarding the Spring Training invite. But it is easy to see how something like that could be read as including an invite to Spring Training.

  43. Anonymous - Feb 9, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    I don't want to pile on JayB because I applaud his passion for wanting the Nats to do well. But I will make note that he posted 6 times about this before he mentions that he might be wrong. And, as he typically does in his posts, he defiantly writes that he is correct and the Nats (amongst other posters) are wrong. And judging by the times of his posts, I can't understand why anyone would write with such venom that early in the morning.8:29PM5:41AM7:02AM7:38AM7:52AM9:15AM9:18AM — this is where he says, "if I am wrong them I take it all back…but I do not think I am wrong."And even when he mentions he might be wrong, but quantifies it with "but I do not think I am wrong."So, sorry John C, I can't cut JayB some slack here (but keep on being passionate JayB!) …

  44. alexva - Feb 9, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    @Anon8 – here's alink to AK's story including reference to two recent signings. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/07/AR2011020705551.html

  45. JayB - Feb 9, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    Just off the plane…..GREAT NEWS>>>>>Alex C does not have an invite to MLB ST Camp….I was wrong it seems….Thanks Mark…..Now if Njack will be honest and tell us when and where he sees Alex and Mark….let us know when he gets his first AB in a MLB ST game please. I will be done to check in 10 days or so.

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