Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz has been suspended for the first 25 games of next season after testing positive for amphetamines, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday.
Ruiz was pretty indisputably the best player on the Phillies this past season, hitting .325 with a .935 OPS. He finished third on the team with 16 home runs despite only playing 114 games as the team's everyday catcher. The 33 year old experienced notable jumps in his batting average – his previous career high was .302 – and nearly doubled his career high in home runs, which had been nine. The Panamanian-born catcher was in line to make $5 million this upcoming season for Philadelphia before the suspension.
Amphetamines, known as "greenies" around baseball, were supposedly in relatively common use in the majors for their stimulant effect until their ban in 2006. Unlike steroids, which come with an immediate 50-game suspension, the first punishment for amphetamines is a warming, then additional testing.