Skip to content

Carlos Ruiz and performance-enhancing drugs

Nov 27, 2012, 6:06 PM EDT

Carlos Ruiz AP

There are a lot of differing opinions out there, educated and otherwise, on just how much performance-enhancing drugs actually enhance performance. On the one side, there’s suspected users like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens pulling off incredible feats at advanced ages. On the other, there’s the long list of proven cheaters littered with names of journeymen long forgotten.

Now, though, that long list has suddenly gotten interesting at the end. The last three veteran major leaguers caught cheating were all exceeding expectations in a pretty big way:

- Melky Cabrera, the 2012 All-Star Game MVP, was leading the NL with a .346 average through 113 games when he was suspended. His OPS went from .671 in 2010 to .809 in 2011 to .906 last season.

- Bartolo Colon had a 3.43 ERA in 24 starts for Oakland prior to his suspension. Two years after his career was presumed over due to shoulder problems, he was on his way to his best season since 2005. Had he maintained the 3.43 ERA, it would have been his second-lowest mark in 15 big-league seasons.

- Carlos Ruiz established new career highs in average (.325), homers (16) and RBI (68) as a 33-year-old last season. The homer total was two more than he had the previous two seasons combined. His .540 slugging percentage was almost 150 points higher than his career mark of .393.

Of course, Ruiz, unlike the other two, wasn’t caught with testosterone. And because he was using an amphetamine, not a steroid, he’s getting just a 25-game suspension (Cabrera and Colon received 50 games apiece).

Whether the Adderall deserves any credit for Ruiz’s performance spike is a matter I’ll let others debate. But it’s more ammunition for those who believe that cheaters get an incredible advantage over those who get their results naturally.

Latest Posts
  1. And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

    Aug 22, 2014, 6:33 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 6.32.11 AM AP

    Another Washington walkoff. Another dominant Clayton Kershaw start. And some unusual stuff happened too.

  2. Joaquin Benoit expected to avoid the disabled list

    Aug 21, 2014, 11:01 PM EDT

    Joaquin Benoit

    Padres closer Joaquin Benoit hasn’t appeared in a game since last Wednesday due to soreness in his throwing shoulder.

  3. Report: Rockies pulled Michael Cuddyer back off waivers after hamstring issue

    Aug 21, 2014, 9:51 PM EDT

    Michael Cuddyer AP

    Impending free agent Michael Cuddyer will almost certainly finish his season in a Rockies uniform.

  4. MRI comes back negative on Salvador Perez’s knee

    Aug 21, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT

    Salvador Perez AP AP

    Royals catcher Salvador Perez was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup with tightness in his right knee, but an MRI on Thursday revealed no structural damage.

  5. The Nationals extend their winning streak to 10 games with another walk-off victory

    Aug 21, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    4c6175926c38d231dc81e90954473530-2 AP

    Here’s hoping Nationals manager Matt Williams has been practicing his Babe Ruth home run trot, because he has a promise to fulfill.

  6. Yan Gomes exits game with concussion-like symptoms

    Aug 21, 2014, 6:57 PM EDT

    02e1eef82480ad08381dc3cd40aa3625 AP

    Gomes was hit in the mask in the bottom of the fifth inning by a ball that deflected off the arm of Kurt Suzuki on a hit-by-pitch.

  7. Phil Hughes rolls to 14th win, sports third best K/BB ratio ever

    Aug 21, 2014, 6:14 PM EDT

    Phil Hughes Phil Hughes

    But not the best among major league starters this season.

  8. Angels acquire Gordon Beckham from White Sox

    Aug 21, 2014, 5:42 PM EDT

    Gordon Beckham Gordon Beckham

    Beckham had a very promising rookie season as a 22-year-old in 2009, but the former first-round draft pick has hit just .240 with a .658 OPS in 636 games since then while never topping a .700 OPS in a season.

  9. Reds demote 10-loss reliever J.J. Hoover to Triple-A

    Aug 21, 2014, 5:20 PM EDT

    J.J. Hoover Reds AP

    He heads to Triple-A tied for the Reds franchise record in relief losses with 10, which is especially remarkable considering he won his first decision of the season before dropping 10 straight.

  10. Garrett Richards out 6-9 months with torn patellar tendon

    Aug 21, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT

    Garrett Richards Angels AP

    Richards’ leg buckled underneath him as he went to cover first base on a potential double-play ball last night and he was down for nearly 10 minutes before being carted off the field in obvious pain.

  11. Red Sox activate Allen Craig from the disabled list

    Aug 21, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    allen craig getty Getty Images

    He hit a combined .312 with an .863 OPS in 328 games for the Cardinals from 2011 to 2013, but Craig’s production has plummeted to a .237 batting average and .639 OPS in 98 total games this season.

  12. David Price threw a one-hitter against the Rays. And lost.

    Aug 21, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 3.56.49 PM Getty Images

    One unearned run was all he allowed against his old mates. Tough way to lose.

  13. Brandon McCarthy tosses a four-hit shutout as the Yankees top the Astros

    Aug 21, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT

    Brandon McCarthy AP

    Work fast. Throw strikes. If anyone has come up with a better way to win games, I haven’t heard of it yet.

  14. Chris Rock catches a foul ball at Yankee Stadium, gives it to a kid

    Aug 21, 2014, 2:54 PM EDT

    Video camera

    That’s kind of the whole story, but there’s nothing else going on right now.

  15. Masahiro Tanaka to throw against live hitters Saturday

    Aug 21, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT

    Masahiro Tanaka AP

    Masahiro Tanaka’s attempt to avoid Tommy John elbow surgery with the rest-and-rehab approach has gone well enough that the Yankees right-hander will face live hitters for the first time Saturday.

  16. Cano, Puig, Pujols to participate in an All-Star series in Japan in November

    Aug 21, 2014, 2:04 PM EDT

    Japan Flag

    It’s better than no baseball in November, right?

  17. Rangers pull back Neal Cotts off waivers, won’t trade him

    Aug 21, 2014, 1:43 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers Getty Images

    Texas not trading impending free agent reliever Neal Cotts before the July 31 deadline was surprising and now they’re going to hang onto the left-hander for the rest of the season.

Featured video

Who's to blame for Cubs tarp fiasco?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3611)
  2. M. Cuddyer (2631)
  3. K. Bryant (2389)
  4. G. Richards (2147)
  5. A. Garcia (2086)
  1. A. McCutchen (2021)
  2. W. Myers (2014)
  3. J. Werth (1978)
  4. H. Ramirez (1853)
  5. Y. Molina (1843)