Yankees minor leaguer pitcher Wilking Rodriguez suspended

BALTIMORE (AP) Yankees pitcher Wilking Rodriguez has been suspended for 80 games under baseball’s minor league drug program following a positive test for Furosemide.

A 25-year-old right-hander, Rodriguez made his major league debut with a pair of appearances for Kansas City last year. He is on the roster of New York’s Triple-A International League team at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Speaking in Baltimore before the Yankees faced the Orioles, New York manager Joe Girardi said, ”He threw the ball for us pretty well in spring training. Not what you want to see, but we’re still dealing with it.”

Girardi added: ”It’s a risk players take when they don’t know what they put in their body. Or they take something they know is illegal and they think they are going to get away with it.”

He said all the players are instructed about baseball’s drug policy during spring training.

”If you have any question about what you are taking, then don’t take it,” Girardi said.

Furosemide, a diuretic better known as Lasix, is often used to help mask banned drugs in urine tests.

The suspension, announced Wednesday, was the 45th this year under the minor league drug program. Four players have been suspended under the big league program.