Indians outfielder Abraham Almonte has been suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
MLB said Friday that Almonte tested positive for Boldenone, an anabolic steroid generally used by veterinarians on horses.
Indians General Manager Mike Chernoff and Manager Terry Francona had high expectations this season for the 26-year-old outfielder.
"It's extremely disappointing. Abe has accepted responsibility for the test results as he talked with me and Tito," Chernoff said. "We were hoping that he would be a large contributor for our major league team this year and for the first 80 games, he can't do that."
The 26-year-old outfielder will not be allowed to play in regular season games until July, but can play in spring training. Almonte was competing for a starting job in the outfield while Michael Brantley works his way back from a shoulder injury.
Acquired by the Indians on July 31, 2015, in a deal for left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski, Almonte played 51 games for Cleveland last season, hitting .264 with five home runs and 20 RBIs.
Almonte's on-field play impressed the team. So did his clubhouse presence.
"I think the best way I could describe it is, he paid attention to detail so well. I mean that in a complimentary way," Francona said. "It was just a really nice acquisition for us at a time when guys are leaving and some young kids are coming. He did a really good job of solidifying that."
Chapman back with Yankees
Closer Aroldis Chapman rejoined the New York Yankees after missing two days of spring training because he was tending to a family matter.
In his third mound session for his new team, Chapman threw 35 pitches Friday. He was away Thursday and also had an excused absence on Monday. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild said depending on how Chapman feels Saturday, the hard-throwing lefty could soon be ready to toss batting practice.
Chapman is under investigation by Major League Baseball under the sport's new domestic violence policy for an incident at his house in Florida in October involving his girlfriend. Chapman is alleged to have fired a gun during the encounter. Prosecutors declined to file charges. Chapman said he would appeal any suspension to baseball's arbitrator.
Darvish rehab progresses
Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish is close to getting back on a full-size mound for the first time in nearly a year after elbow surgery. That could come in his next bullpen session after throwing off a half-mound Friday for the third time in five days.
"Another really good day," new pitching coach Doug Brocail said after Darvish's 25-pitch session.