Kansas City Royals outfielder Jorge Bonifacio has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
The commissioner’s office made the announcement Saturday.
Bonifacio was banned after a positive test for Boldenone. The ban will begin on opening day.
“It really kind of made me sick to my stomach,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
The 24-year-old Bonifacio made his major league debut last season, hitting .255 with 17 home runs and 40 RBIs in 113 games.
Kansas City was reshuffling its outfield this spring after Lorenzo Cain left as a free agent, and Bonifacio was competing for playing time in the field and at designated hitter.
The Royals recently signed free agent outfielder Jon Jay. Paulo Orlando and several others are also trying to earn time.
Bonifacio’s suspension cleared a roster spot for third baseman Mike Moustakas, who re-signed with the Royals this week after becoming a free agent last fall.
Bonifacio is the fourth player suspended this year under the major league drug program. Houston pitcher Dean Deetz, Washington catcher Raudy Read and Pittsburgh pitcher Nik Turley previously were penalized.
Nats’ Murphy takes BP • Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy didn’t experience any issues during his first on-field batting practice of the spring on Saturday.
Working his way back from offseason knee surgery, Murphy had only progressed as far as hitting in the batting cages.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen overhand pitching, so you want to reinforce that I can take it and there’s not going to be any discomfort — which there wasn’t, so that was, I think first and foremost, that was a really positive sign,” Murphy said.
Murphy still doesn’t have a timetable as to when he’ll appear in a Grapefruit League game. Earlier this spring Murphy said he might only need a handful of at-bats to be ready for opening day.
Following the batting practice, Murphy said he’s pleased with the way his rehab is progressing.
“It’s nice to see ball flight,” Murphy said. “That you can’t really see — a little bit confined in the cage.”
Saturday also marked the first time center fielder Michael A. Taylor took batting practice on the field since being scratched from Monday’s lineup with side tightness.
White Sox prospect out • Chicago prospect Luis Robert will miss about 10 weeks with a sprained left thumb, general manager Rick Hahn said Saturday.
The 20-year-old outfielder was hurt sliding into second base on a steal this week.
Hahn said Robert’s thumb will be immobilized for six weeks. It’s hoped he’ll play extended spring training games in early May.
Robert, a native of Cuba, is ranked as high as third among White Sox prospects. This spring, he’s shown flashes of why the White Sox gave him a $26 million signing bonus last year.
Stanton homers off Harvey • Matt Harvey’s last pitch for the New York Mets was his worst one, ending up as Giancarlo Stanton’s first home run with the Yankees.
Stanton hit a two-run shot just to the right of straightaway center with two outs in the fifth that ended Harvey’s outing Saturday as the Yankees beat the Mets 10-3 in Tampa, Fla.
“One too many fastballs,” Harvey said. “That one, obviously, ran back over the middle of the plate. A hitter like that, you can’t do that.”
The drive ended Stanton’s spring-training 20 at-bat homerless drought. He does have seven hits in 21 at-bats (.333).