AROUND THE HORN

Cecil Whig - - INSIDEBASEBALL -

On April 29, MLB an­nounced the 80-game sus­pen­sion of Mar­lins sec­ond base­man Dee Gor­don for test­ing pos­i­tive for ex­oge­nous testos­terone and closte­bol, the lat­ter be­ing an an­abolic steroid. The 28-year-old Gor­don, who led the Na­tional League in bat­ting av­er­age (.333) and the ma­jors in stolen bases (58) in 2015, was hit­ting .266/.289/.340 with six steals at the time of his sus­pen­sion. Gor­don tested pos­i­tive in spring train­ing; the sus­pen­sion was handed down af­ter Gor­don dropped his appeal. He and Toronto’s Chris Co­la­bello are the only two play­ers to be sus­pended for PEDs this year. …

Sen­ti­ment among some play­ers seems to be that sus­pen­sions still aren’t tough enough. “Why can’t we up the pun­ish­ment to PED of­fend­ers when it’s be­yond rea­son­able doubt that they were tak­ing de­signer drugs to avoid de­tec­tion?” Na­tion­als pitcher Max Scherzer com­mented to Fox Sports the day the Gor­don sus­pen­sion was levied. …

The Red Sox ended Week 4 on top of the Amer­i­can League East. Imag­ine what could be pos­si­ble once the Sox get ace David Price go­ing. The lefty, signed to a seven- year, $ 217- mil­lion con­tract be­fore the sea­son, had a 6.14 ERA in his first six Bos­ton starts, and worse, al­lowed 21 runs in 22.2 in­nings at Fen­way Park. Price isn’t wor­ried, say­ing it’s just a mat­ter of get­ting better pitch lo­ca­tion. …

David Or­tiz, Bos­ton’s 40- year- old slug­ger, is re­tir­ing af­ter the 2016 sea­son, but through four weeks is show­ing no signs of slow­ing down. Af­ter 23 games, Or­tiz was hit­ting .317/.417/.634 with five home runs; his 1.051 OPS, if it held, would be the sec­ond-best mark of his ca­reer af­ter 2007’s 1.066. …

To say that Cincin­nati’s pitch­ing is a mess would be an un­der­state­ment. The Reds’ 5.35 ERA through four weeks was the third- worst in base­ball, and mak­ing things worse, Cincin­nati gave up 16 un­earned runs in its first 25 games. J.J. Hoover had the team’s only save, but his 15.58 ERA has cost him the clos­ing job. Setup man Jumbo Diaz was de­moted to AAA, and Tony Cin­grani, next in line for the job, walked nine in his first 10 in­nings.

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