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News » Phillies Notes: MLB: Key is what Romero took, not the source

Phillies Notes: MLB: Key is what Romero took, not the source

Phillies Notes: MLB: Key is what Romero took, not the source
J.C. Romero has long claimed that his positive drug test was the result of a tainted supplement, and Major League Baseball sees no reason to doubt that, although a top league official emphasized yesterday that the issue was what Romero ingested, not where the substance came from.

"There was no allegation or evidence supporting the use of an additional supplement," Rob Manfred , Baseball's executive vice president for labor relations, told The Inquirer.

Romero tested positive Aug. 26 for androstenedione, a substance banned by Major League Baseball, and is serving a 50-game suspension.

He repeatedly has asserted that the androstenedione was present in 6-OXO Extreme, a supplement manufactured by Ergopharm Inc., which Romero bought at Vitamin Shoppe and General Nutrition Center, and that he used no other performance-enhancing drugs. The 32-year-old reliever filed a lawsuit Monday against the manufacturer and retail chains, seeking the recovery of lost wages, as well as punitive damages.

Manfred said yesterday that the league was not focused on the accuracy of that story, though it had no reason to doubt it. MLB cares only that Romero violated its substance-abuse policy.

"It doesn't matter, from our perspective, where it came from," Manfred said.

The league makes available a hotline for players who have questions about their nutritional supplements. The service is announced during spring training each year, and the number is posted in every major-league clubhouse (at Citizens Bank Park, it is on the wall next to the players' kitchen).

According to the lawsuit, Romero consulted with a GNC salesman and several "colleagues," including a Phillies strength coach, but not the hotline, which Manfred said would have advised Romero against using 6-OXO Extreme.

Lidge avoids DL, for now Brad Lidge hopes to avoid the disabled list, but neither he nor the Phillies can say definitively whether that will happen.

Lidge has inflammation in his right knee. The closer had a cortisone shot seven days ago and an MRI exam last week, but the problem resurfaced during Saturday's game in Florida. That night, Lidge loaded the bases in the 10th inning before earning a 34-pitch save.

"I think long-term, I'm not worried," said Lidge, who twice has undergone surgeries to repair cartilage tears in the same knee. "I think we've done a lot to alleviate the potential for tears."

"We're not thinking DL yet," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "There may be a time when we'll have to consider it."

Amaro attributed Lidge's struggles (a 7.27 earned run average, with the first blown save of his Phillies career) to the injury.

"Any time you have an injury, it's going to affect performance," Amaro said.

Lidge said: "I don't know if bad mechanics caused [the inflammation], or if it caused bad mechanics."

He first felt the inflammation pitching in Colorado earlier this month, and consistently has felt the most pain when pitching from the stretch, perhaps explaining his struggles with runners on base. Lidge hopes that several days of rest will correct the issue. Neither he nor the team offered a specific time line.

Ryan Madson closed for the Phillies on Monday, and likely would assume that role if Lidge missed a significant amount of time. The Phillies then would need to fill a slot in middle relief, and the team has several relievers in triple A with major-league experience, including righthanders Gary Majewski , Mike Koplove , and Tyler Walker .

Ruiz better after setback Catcher Carlos Ruiz (strained right abdominal muscle) felt "a little sore" during batting practice before a triple-A rehabilitation game Monday night, causing him to ask out of the game. He reported better health yesterday.

Ruiz played catch yesterday at Citizens Bank Park and expects to play in a rehab game today. Although that type of injury can be slow to heal and vulnerable to setbacks, Ruiz was optimistic that the muscle strain would not be a long-term hindrance.

Contact staff writer Andy Martino at 215-854-4874 or

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 29, 2009

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