Two Royals minor leaguers were suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball yesterday for failing tests for performance-enhancing substances.
Low Class A Burlington shortstop Juan Rivera, 22, tested positive for metabolites of Nandrolone. He had played in three games for the Bees this season, going 2-for-9 (.222) with a walk and three strikeouts. Signed out of the Dominican by the Dodgers in 2003, Rivera was traded to Kansas City last June for Angel Berroa.
Catcher Joe Billick, 23, finished last season with Burlington but had not yet made his debut this season. A 19th-round pick in 2007 from Southern Poly State (Ga.), he batted .240/.387/.340 in 21 Midwest League games last season. Billick tested positive for metabolites of Stanozolol.
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