At 29 and with a decade of minor league experience already behind him, Reynaldo Rodriguez chances of having a major league career seemed slim. They all but disappeared on Thursday, when he was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for traces of the steroid stanozolol.
Rodriguez, in his fourth season in the Twins system after playing for Yankees and Red Sox minor league teams, is ineligible to return until July 22 at the earliest, three weeks after his 30th birthday. He is the 37th minor-league player suspended under baseball’s performance-enhancing drugs policy, and the second Twin, joining rookie league catcher Kirby Camacho, who is serving a 60-game suspension for nandrolone.
Stanozol is the same substance that triggered an 80-game suspension last season for Twins pitcher Ervin Santana.
Rodriguez, a native of Cartagena, Colombia, led Class AAA Rochester in doubles (34), RBIs (80) and stolen bases (13) last season, and was named the International League’s top first baseman after the season.
He was invited to spring training with the Twins, and appeared in nine exhibition games, batting .250 (4-12) before being returned to the Red Wings, where he was batting .234 with one home run through the first three weeks of the season.