Major League Baseball announced today it had leveled 50-game suspensions on a pair of players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
Devil Rays righthander Juan Salas, 28, will begin serving his suspension Tuesday. A converted third baseman who signed out of the Dominican Republic in 1998, Salas quickly took to pitching upon making the switch in 2004. He was nearly perfect during the first three months of the 2006 season, throwing 48 1/3 scoreless innings with Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham to begin the year. Salas made Tampa Bay’s Opening Day roster this season.
Astros catcher Lou Santangelo, 24, also faces a 50-game suspension. A fourth-round pick out of Clemson in 2004, Santangelo has struggled to find offensive consistency thus far in his career. A dead-red fastball hitter, Santangelo was hitting .236/.304/.292 for Double-A Corpus Christi and entered the year with .241/.316/.464 numbers.