The Philadelphia Phillies have already started 2013 with the same sense of disappointment of the 2012 season. Starting catcher and fan favorite Carlos Ruiz has been suspended 25 games for testing positive twice for amphetamine use, reported by league sources to be the banned substance Adderall. After the suspension was announced, Ruiz issued the following statement through the MLBPA:
“I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant … 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.”
Ruiz is coming off of a career year, in which he batted .325 with 16 home runs and 68 RBI before getting injured and only playing 114 games.
Adderall is a drug used to treat ADHD, and if prescribed, Ruiz would be allowed to take it. However, unlike some other players on the Phillies, Chooch is not prescribed the drug. The fact Ruiz tested positive twice for Adderall is a major concern. Adderall is a “poor man’s cocaine” that is popular on many college campuses. It can be used to stay awake for long hours and also to help concentration. It is easy to see how both of these factors could assist a major league baseball player’s performance.
This suspension is a blow to the Phillies who are coming off of another disappointing season. It looked as though Ruiz had taken the step to become an important part of the Phillies offense for 2013, and now they will need to find a suitable replacement for the first month of the season. Overall, this is not the news Phillies fans were expecting to hear in December. It looks like 2013 may be another uphill battle.