The Detroit Tigers are losing the services of one of their minor league catchers for the first 100 games of the 2014 season. Ronny Paulino has been suspended without pay for a violation of the MiLB Drug Prevention program. It is reported that Paulino has tested positive for exogenous testosterone.
Paulino is not on the 40-man roster and seemingly was an extreme long-shot to make the Tigers’ Opening Day lineup. He is currently assigned to the roster of the Toledo Mud Hens.
The Baltimore Orioles sold Paulino’s contract to the Tigers last August to add catching depth to their AAA affiliate. Bryan Holaday received a few call-ups in 2013 and Toledo catcher Brad Davis retired.
The 32-year-old Paulino can’t totally be called a career minor leaguer, but he comes close. A professional ballplayer since 1999, he has appeared in just 573 big league games over eight seasons. He played 129 and 133 games for the 2006 and 2007 Pittsburgh Pirates, and his high-water mark after that was 91 games for the 2010 Florida Marlins. He hasn’t seen big league action since playing in 20 games for Baltimore in 2012.
Paulino has a career average of .272 with 33 homers and 216 RBIs.