Nats minor leaguer suspended over syringe

Nats minor leaguer suspended over syringe
February 8, 2011, 11:46 pm
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011 6:31 p.m., Updated at 7:49 p.m.
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By Mark ZuckermanCSNwashington.com

Hector Taveras, a 22-year-old catcher in the Washington Nationals' farm system, has been suspended 25 games for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Taveras, who played last season in the rookie Gulf Coast League, will begin serving his suspension on Opening Day. His punishment is not for testing positive for any performance enhancing drugs.

According to the Associated Press, Taveras was found in possession of an unauthorized syringe.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Taveras has played only one season in the United States. He hit .291 with 24 RBI in 39 games at the GCL in Viera, Fla., and went 2-for-3 with a triple in a brief appearance at low-Class A Hagerstown.

Taveras is the second minor-league catcher from the Nationals' system to be suspended in the last week. Adrian Nieto, a 21-year-old who spent last season at Hagerstown, received a 50-game suspension on Thursday after testing positive for two performance enhancing drugs.