On the surface, it may not seem like a “big deal” when a minor league catcher gets popped for a 100-game suspension for PED use, but when it’s a long-time Major Leaguer, the interest level rises a bit.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) February 12, 2014
Current Detroit Tigers minor leaguer Ronny Paulino was suspended 100 games by Major League Baseball on Wednesday as a result of a testosterone issue. As ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick notes above, Paulino was likely going to be the catcher for Detroit’s minor-league affiliate in Toledo, but the 32-year-old catcher has more than 2,000 MLB plate appearances over a long career.
Paulino was last seen in the Majors as a member of the Orioles in 2012, but he has also played for the New York Mets, Miami Marlins, and Pittsburgh Pirates at the MLB level. He has been known as a defense-first backstop with quality receiving skills to go along with a subpar .274/.324/.376 slash line at the plate, but when you’ve already been busted for PEDs at the Major League level, it’s a bit odd to see it happen again in the minors.
It’s good to see MLB staying consistent with their crackdown across the Major and Minor Leagues, and they’ve claimed a new (repeat) victim in Paulino.