Alfonzo suspension shakes up catching

Major League Baseball has suspended Eliezer Alfonzo, the San Francisco Giants' primary catcher from the 2006 season who was sent out to Triple-A Fresno after a hugely disappointing spring training this year. The 29-year-old Venezuelan will serve a 50 game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

Eliezer Alfonzo came into camp in 2008 as the odds-on favorite to back up Bengie Molina after an impressive performance in the Venezuelan Winter League, but went just 4-for-44 in Arizona and was optioned out to Fresno.

Alfonzo was hitting .306 with a .565 slugging percentage through 16 games with the Grizzlies.

With Alfonzo's suspension, catcher Dayton Buller was called up from Connecticut to share catching duties with Todd Jennings. Buller, 26, is a native of Fresno. The 2001 draftee owns a .247 career average and had just a .207/.233/.379 line in backup duties for the Defenders.

With the organization committed to keeping Pablo Sandoval in San Jose to work with Steve Decker on blocking balls in the dirt and managing his pitching staff, the club summoned Nestor Rojas to join their Double-A affiliate. Rojas, 24, has just two hits in 26 at-bats for Augusta this year. He has been a backup in the system since coming stateside in 2005.

Augusta had been carrying three catchers all year and will not immediately backfill at the position. Matt Klimas figures to see slightly more at-bats backing up 2007 first-rounder Jackson Williams. Williams continues to struggle at the plate, hitting just .148/.188/.230. Klimas, 20, hit .309 while repeating the Arizona Summer League last year.

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