Rockies Outfielder Piedra Suspended For Steroids

April 11, 2005

Major League Baseball handed out its second steroids suspension Monday, hitting Rockies outfielder Jorge Piedra with a 10-day punishment.

Piedra, 25, joins Devil Rays outfielder Alex Sanchez as the first two players on 40-man rosters to be suspended for steroid use under MLB’s new steroids policy, adopted in the offseason. Piedra was on the roster of Triple-A Colorado Springs, and his suspension leaves the Sky Sox with just two full-time outfielders in Choo Freeman and Brian Buchanan. Utilityman Tim Olson and veterans such as Andy Tracy, Elvis Pena and Tom Wilson will also be pressed into outfield action.

Piedra made his major league debut last August and hit .297/.340/.484 in 91 at-bats for the Rockies. He signed with the Dodgers in 1997 as a nondrafted free agent out of Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks, Calif. The Dodgers traded him to the Cubs in 2000 in a deal involving Ismael Valdes, and the Rockies purchased his contract from the Cubs in May 2002. In 667 career minor league games entering 2005, Piedra batted .298/.357/.476. He hit .334/.372/.557 last season at Colorado Springs after posing a career-best 18 home runs for Double-A Tulsa in 2003.

–JOHN MANUEL

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