MLB notes: Outfielder Byrd gets 50-game ban

Free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd was suspended 50 games Monday by MLB. (REUTERS)

Free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd was suspended 50 games Monday by MLB. (REUTERS)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:16 PM ET

Free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd was suspended 50 games Monday by MLB for testing positive for an estrogen-blocking drug, tamoxifen. Tamoxifen is one of 200 substances on the banned substance list and is not a performance-enhancing drug. It is used to minimize side effects from steroid use.

Byrd, 34, hit .210 with one home run and nine RBI for the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox this season. He was traded to Boston from Chicago in April and was released June 12. Byrd will remain on the restricted list for the next 50 games.

Byrd said through the players union he was using the medication to treat a "private" condition.

"I am mortified by my carelessness and I apologize to everyone who loves this game as I do," Byrd said.

Tamoxifen is most commonly used for breast cancer treatment in early and advanced stages in women and men.

Byrd has acknowledged working with Victor Conte, whose BALCO lab was at the centre of a major doping scandal that ensnared stars such as Barry Bonds and Marion Jones.

CUBS CALL UP PHENOM

The Chicago Cubs are reluctant to call him a saviour but their fingers are crossed in the hope that prospect Anthony Rizzo can provide a productive bat in the middle of the batting order.

Rizzo, a 22-year-old first baseman, will be in the lineup Tuesday against the New York Mets.

Rizzo, who won't be promoted officially until Tuesday, hit .342 with 23 home runs and 62 RBI in 70 games with Iowa of the Pacific Coast League this season.

He hit just .141 for the San Diego Padres last season in 153 plate appearances.

"Our core guys have got to start doing something in the middle of the order," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said before the Rizzo promotion was confirmed.

TWINS CLOSER AILING

Minnesota Twins closer Matt Capps went on the 15-day disabled list Monday because of an inflammation in his right shoulder.

Capps has converted 14 of 15 save opportunities this season, to go with a 1-4 record and a 3.42 earned-run average.

The Twins are expected to use left-hander Glen Perkins and right-hander Jared Burton to fill in at closer. The Twins called up left-handed pitcher Tyler Robertson from triple-A Rochester to fill the roster spot. He went 2-2 with a 3.77 ERA for the Red Wings.

HAMILTON HEADING FOR RECORD

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is approaching Jose Bautista's record for most all-star votes in one season. Bautista, the Toronto Blue Jays right fielder, set the record in 2011 with 7,454,753 votes.

Hamilton had 7,310,824 votes as of Monday.

The all-star teams will be announced Sunday and the game will be played July 10 in Kansas City.

BRIEFLY

The Washington Nationals reinstated infielder/outfielder Mark DeRosa from the 15-day disabled list and placed outfielder Xavier Nady on the 15-day DL Monday with right wrist tendinitis ... The Philadelphia Phillies have placed catcher Brian Schneider on the 15-day DL and recalled catcher Erik Kratz from triple-A Lehigh Valley. Schneider has a sprained right ankle, stemming from a collision at the plate Sunday with the Tampa Bay Rays' Sean Rodriguez ... The San Diego Padres have claimed pitcher Mark Hamburger off waivers from the Texas Rangers and optioned him to triple-A Tucson ... The Baltimore Orioles have granted Miguel Tejada's request to be released. The infielder played 36 games at triple-A Norfolk after signing a minor-league deal May 8 ... The Cincinnati Reds have activated Drew Stubbs after the outfielder sat out three weeks with a strained oblique muscle.


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