Posted: Friday July 22, 2005 7:28PM; Updated: Friday July 22, 2005 7:28PM
NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Philadelphia Phillies' minor league first baseman Randy Ruiz and New York Yankees prospect Deivi Mendez were both suspended 30 games Friday for a second violation of baseball's minor league steroids policy.
The suspensions raise the total of minor leaguers penalized to 82. So far, four players have received suspensions over the minimum 15 games, including a 105-game ban issued to Washington Nationals' minor league infielder Ramon Castro on July 1.
Playing for Class AA Reading of the Eastern League, the 27-year-old Ruiz was leading the league in average (.356), home runs (25) and RBI (84) despite missing the first two weeks of the season due to his first suspension.
A non-drafted free agent who originally signed with Cincinnati in 1999, Ruiz has played for three different organizations in the last four years.
Mendez, who signed with the Yankees as a 16-year-old in 1999, was hitting .232 with no homers and eight RBI in 27 games for Class A Tampa of the Florida State League.
A native of the Dominican Republic, the 6-1, 165-pound Mendez has hit just .241 with 10 home runs and 108 RBI in six minor league seasons, spanning 318 games.