NEW YORK – Minnesota Twins pitcher Juan Rincon (search) was suspended for 10 days Monday, making him the fifth player disciplined under Major League Baseball's new policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Rincon was a key contributor to the Twins' AL Central-winning team last season. He went 11-6 with two saves and a 2.63 ERA in 77 games. This year, he was 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 12 appearances.
Four players had previously received 10-day bans, all with relatively low profiles: Tampa Bay outfielder Alex Sanchez, Colorado outfielder Jorge Piedra, Texas minor league pitcher Agustin Montero and Seattle minor league outfielder Jamal Strong.
Last week, commissioner Bud Selig (search) proposed much tougher penalties for players caught using steroids. He sent a letter to the players' union calling for a 50-game suspension for first-time steroid offenders, a 100-game ban for a second offense and a lifetime ban for a third violation under what he called a "three strikes and you are out approach" to doping.
The Minnesota Twins (search) were off Monday. They play again at home Tuesday against Cleveland.
General manager Terry Ryan acknowledged that he was notified about Rincon's positive test and said right-hander Scott Baker, one of the organization's top prospects, would be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to fill the roster spot. Ryan declined to comment further.
Under baseball's drug rules, the sport doesn't announce the specific substance a player tested positive for.