Tigers’ Perez suspended for 25 games
DETROIT ” Detroit Tigers infielder Neifi Perez was suspended 25 games Friday, the first player penalized for testing positive for a stimulant under Major League Baseball’s drug program.
Perez, a seldom-used utility player, is hitting .172 with one home run and six RBIs in 64 at-bats in the team’s first 83 games. He is a former Gold Glove shortstop, in 2000 with the Colorado Rockies. He also has played for Kansas City, San Francisco and the Chicago Cubs.
The suspension takes effect immediately. The 34-year-old Perez would be eligible to return Aug. 4 against the White Sox.
“The Tigers fully support Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” the team said in a statement.
Messages seeking comment were left with Perez’s agent, Paul Kinzer, and Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski.
Under its drug-testing program, baseball doesn’t release the names of players who test positive for amphetamines the first time, which results in counseling. The player then is subjected to at least six additional tests over the next year. Stimulants were banned prior to the 2006 season.
Just one player has been suspended for performancing-enhancing substances this year under MLB’s drug program: Tampa Bay Devil Rays relief pitcher Juan Salas received a 50-game penalty on May 7. The right-hander was reinstated Tuesday.