When Alex Rodriguez struggled in the playoffs last season, he sought help.
In fact, the New York Yankees third baseman looked past his team and turned to Biogenesis clinic founder Anthony Bosch, supposedly meeting with him during the ALCS in October, according to a former Bosch associate.
Porter Fischer, a marketing director for the south Florida clinic at the centre of an MLB investigation into performance-enhancing drugs, told the Miami New Times that Bosch flew to Detroit after getting a call from Rodriguez.
The Yankees said they were unaware of Bosch being in Detroit for the ALCS, according to the New York Daily News.
The Daily News broke the Biogenesis story earlier this year, alleging the clinic supplied players such as Rodriguez, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun and the Toronto Blue Jays’ Melky Cabrera with PEDs.
MANNY LEAVING TAIWAN
It appears Manny Ramirez's time in Taiwan is over.
The former major leaguer is off the roster of the EDA Rhinos and will leave the country on Friday, according to a Manny Does Taiwan blog report.
The Rhinos did not give a reason for Ramirez's departure except to say that he misses his family, but rumours swirling in Japanese and Taiwanese media say he is being pursued by the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan.
The 41-year-old played 49 games for the Rhinos in the Chinese Professional Baseball League, hitting .352 with eight home runs in 206 plate appearances.
Ramirez's contract, which runs until June 30, reportedly has an opt-out clause that allows him to pursue other opportunities outside the Chinese league.
Ramirez was suspended for 100 games by MLB in 2011 for a second failed drug test after playing five games for the Tampa Bay Rays. The suspension was cut in half when he sat out the remainder of the season.
In 19 major-league seasons, Ramirez had a career .312 batting average with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs.
INJURY HALTS SPEEDY CABRERA
The San Diego Padres will be a lot quieter on the bases.
Speedy shortstop Everth Cabrera was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a mild left hamstring strain.
The injury occurred Sunday when Cabrera was attempting to steal second base in the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"It's tough, but it's probably good," Cabrera said. "For me, at this point, it's probably better to lose 12, 13 games than any more. We'll shut it down so it gets better and I can get back to playing."
Cabrera has 31 stolen bases this season, tied for the major-league lead with Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox.
The 26-year-old is batting .305 with four homers and 24 RBIs in 69 games, leading the team in runs (37) and hits (84).
The Padres recalled outfielder Jaff Decker from triple-A Tucson on Wednesday to take Cabrera's roster spot.
REHAB BEGINS FOR UTLEY
Chase Utley is getting back on the field.
The Philadelphia Phillies second baseman will begin a rehab assignment with double-A Reading on Wednesday night.
Utley hasn't played since May 20 after suffering a strained right oblique during batting practice.
Utley was hitting .272 with a .339 on-base percentage, seven homers and 25 RBIs when the injury occurred.
ASTROS INK NO. 1 PICK
The Houston Astros were never worried about making Mark Appel the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 MLB amateur draft.
It took the team less than two weeks to officially sign the hard-throwing righty Wednesday.
"We were very excited to be able to get Mark and he played little-league baseball here," Astros owner Jim Crane told the Houston Chronicle.
"His dad lives here and I've visited with his dad a little bit — he's a great guy and it's a great family. We're hoping he'll be an anchor of the team."
Appel, 21, is expected to receive a $6.35 million signing bonus, a year after turning down $3.8 million from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012 after being selected No. 8 overall.
Appel went 10-4 with four complete games and a 2.12 ERA to go along with 130 strikeouts in 106 1/3 innings as a senior this season at Stanford University.