The Philadelphia Phillies will have to begin their 2013 campaign without All-Star Carlos Ruiz behind the plate. Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday that it had suspended the catcher for 25 games for using the banned amphetamine Adderall.
Ruiz released the following statement:
“I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant,” Ruiz said in a release. “I apologize to my teammates, the Phillies organization, and the Philadelphia fans. I will serve the imposed 25-game suspension to begin the season and I look forward to returning to the field and working toward bringing a championship back to Philadelphia in 2013.”
The loss of Ruiz will be a blow to the Phillies who had come to rely on the 33-year-old’s bat. Last season Ruiz had a career season at the plate hitting .325 with 16 home runs and 68 RBI.
Erik Kratz will likely begin the season as the team’s starting catcher. Expect the Phillies to bring in a veteran backstop as well.