Cleveland Indians OF Marlon Byrd suspended for PED use

One month after a report from ESPN, Cleveland Indians outfielder Marlon Byrd is handed a 162-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs

(Ed. note: The Indians have confirmed the 162-game suspension of Byrd. They have recalled Naquin from Columbus. WFNY's initial post is below.)

ESPN's Outside The Lines warned us last month that more Performance-enhancing drug suspensions were coming down Major League Baseball's pipeline of news, and if today's latest is any indication, the Cleveland Indians' outfield is about to get even thinner. According to Cleveland's Scene Magazine, veteran outfielder Marlon Byrd has tested positive for a banned substance, his second such a test in the last four years. The Indians are expected to address the matter at a later point.

Byrd, 38, has been productive at the plate in his limited use through 2016, producing a slash line of .270/.326/.452, five home runs and 19 RBI. In a recent loss to the Texas Rangers, the right-hander went 4-for-4 with a solo home run, and has been asked to fill a void left by the Indians' injured left fielder, Michael Brantley. He was signed as a free agent late in the off-season process as the team scrambled mightily to add depth to an already bereft outfield unit. While it is unclear what Byrd tested positive for, ESPN's report stated that a player had tested positive for the steroid Turinabol, a drug that was commonly used by East German athletes in the 1970s. The positive test reported by OTL was merely one of a handful being processed. While Byrd was found to be in violation of the league's policy against PEDs in 2012 when he tested positive for Tamoxifen, a drug used to treat breast cancer in women or men and is used by steroid users to prevent the growth of breast tissues in men and to stop post-cycle crashes.

If the report is indeed true, the Indians would be without Byrd for at least the remainder of the season. It would also be the second such a report to impact Cleveland as outfielder Abraham Almonte was found to be in violation of the league's PED policy in late February. Until Brantley returns, the Indians' everyday outfield will consist of Rajai Davis, Jose Ramirez, and Lonnie Chisenhall. It is anticipated that the team will recall centerfielder Tyler Naquin from Triple-A Columbus.

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