Giants' Alfonzo banned for positive drug test

Baseball Notes

May 01, 2008

San Francisco Giants minor league catcher Eliezer Alfonzo was suspended 50 games yesterday for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, the first player penalized this year under Major League Baseball's drug program.

Alfonzo is on San Francisco's 40-man roster, so he falls under the major league program even though he has played all season at Triple-A Fresno.

"I made a mistake, and I want to apologize to my family, my teammates, the fans and the Giants organization," Alfonzo said in a statement. "I know what I did was wrong, and now I will pay the penalty."

The Venezuelan, 29, was optioned to Fresno just before Opening Day and is batting .306 with three homers and 14 RBIs in 16 games.

He played 113 games with the Giants in the 2006 and 2007 seasons, batting .263 with 13 homers and 45 RBIs.

"We will continue to support and counsel Eliezer during his suspension," the Giants said in a statement.

Nationals -- Right-hander Chad Cordero is expected to be sidelined for at least a month with a tear in a muscle below his pitching shoulder. It will be Cordero's second trip to the disabled list this season after missing time because of tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. He has a 2.08 ERA in six appearances.

Yankees -- Starter Phil Hughes was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right oblique. He is 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA after six starts.

Mariners -- Right fielder Brad Wilkerson and pinch hitter Greg Norton were cut by Seattle, which promoted catcher Jeff Clement and power-hitting outfielder Wladimir Balentien from Triple-A Tacoma. Wilkerson was batting .232 with five RBIs in 19 games.

Tigers-Rockies -- Detroit traded right-hander Jason Grilli to Colorado for minor league pitcher Zachary Simons. Grilli is 0-1 with a 3.29 ERA in nine games this season.

More Rockies -- Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will have a magnetic resonance imaging of his left leg, and infielder Jonathan Herrera was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs. To make room for Herrera, the Rockies placed right-hander Kip Wells on the 15-day DL with a blood clot in his pitching hand.

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