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Ronny Paulino still absent from Mets camp

Feb 23, 2011, 6:04 PM EST

Ronny Paulino

From Adam Rubin of ESPN New York comes word that Mets catcher Ronny Paulino has still not arrived at spring training due to visa issues.

Paulino was handed a 50-game suspension from MLB near the end of the 2010 season after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. New Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is telling reporters that the current delay has at least something to do with that positive test.

It’s not known when the 29-year-old catcher might be cleared to travel to Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Paulino inked a one-year, $1.3 million contract this winter and is expected to serve as a backup to Josh Thole this year. A career .273/.328/.383 hitter, Paulino posted a .665 OPS, four home runs and 37 RBI across 344 plate appearances last season for the Marlins. He still has eight games left on his suspension.

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