Two Washington Nationals Catching Prospects Suspended on Performance-Enhancing Drug Charges


February 9, 2011

The Nationals are having some problems in their farm system.

Adrian Nieto, a 21-year-old switch-hitting catcher originally from Cuba, and Hector Taveras, a 21-year-old catcher from the Dominican Republic, have both been suspended for performance-enhancing drug charges.

The Associated Press reports that Nieto was suspended on Feb. 3 for 50 games after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The 2008 fifth-round pick for the Nationals hit .195 in 60 games last season.

On Tuesday, Taveras was suspended for 25 games after he was found in possession of an unauthorized syringe, the AP reports. The reason for his suspension was not reported by the MLB but by a source speaking on the condition of anonymity to the AP.  

Taveras hit .300 in 2010 with a .369 slugging percentage.

According to the anonymous source, baseball can impose a lesser discipline instead of the required 50-game suspension if the reason for the penalty was other than a positive test. The minor-league program allows players to be in possession of syringes if the team gave them permission.

Both players' suspensions will start at the beginning of the 2011 season.

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