By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
It lasted just seven minutes, but for Carlos Ruiz it must have felt like an eternity.
The fan-favorite catcher sat at a picnic table at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. following his first workout on Wednesday and faced a swarm of reporters all interested in asking the same question.
"I got caught two times and I have to pay for that," he said. "I want to put that behind me and focus on this season and give it 100% for this city and organization."
Ruiz learned in late-November he had violated baseball's substance-abuse policy for a second time. He will miss the first 25 games of the season serving a suspension. He tested positive for Adderall, a drug primarily aimed at treating ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.
Use of Adderall is permitted by a special exemption, including official documentation from a major league appointed physician. According to the Commissioner's Office, nearly 120 players were given exemptions last season to use Adderall.
Ruiz can return to Phillies lineup on April 28. In the meantime, he can play in Grapefruit League games and extended spring training. He can also begin a five-game minor-league rehab assignment April 23.
"I have a lot of good friends around here," Ruiz said. "They support me and I'm ready to come back and do my best."
Ruiz had a career-year last season, playing in the All-Star Game while putting up personal highs in batting average, home runs and RBIs.
- Patrick Gordon is the editor of the Philadelphia Baseball Review. Contact him at email@example.com or @Philabaseball on Twitter.