SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 30: Eliezer Alfonzo #55 of the Colorado Rockies heads for the dugout after hitting a grand slam during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on July 30, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Alfonzo Eligible to Play Immediately
Colorado Rockies catcher Eliezer Alfonzo has already missed 48 games due to a 100-game suspension in September of 2011 for a second violation of the MLB's performance-enhancing substance policy, but Major League Baseball dropped the suspension due to procedural issues similar to the ones that cleared Ryan Braun of any wrongdoing and the 33-year-old backstop is eligible to play immediately, according to a report by the Associated Press.
In other words, there were concerns regarding the chain of custody on Alfonzo's PED-positive samples, which likely means there was a plausible dispute over the storage and shipment of his urine samples.
Alfonzo's suspension was dropped without a formal hearing before an arbitrator, and it is unclear whether he will receive back pay for the 48 games he missed due to the ban. The Rockies designated Alfonzo for assignment on May 7, but he reportedly stayed home in Venezuela after being demoted. Alfonzo played in 25 games for the Rockies last season and he holds a .240/.271/.377 triple-slash batting line in his six-year major league career.
He was first suspended 50 games for a failed drug test while a member of the San Francisco Giants back in 2008, and he proclaimed his innocence regarding the second positive test in September of 2011, saying he had learned his lesson from the first ban.