Baseball notebook: 2012 Tucson Padres star catcher Grandal banned 50 games

2012-11-08T00:00:00Z 2012-11-08T05:38:42Z Baseball notebook: 2012 Tucson Padres star catcher Grandal banned 50 gamesStaff And Wire Reports Staff And Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star

Yasmani Grandal, who played 56 games with the Tucson Padres in 2012, has been suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for testosterone use.

The suspension was announced by MLB on Wednesday. He will first be eligible to play May 28.

"I apologize to the fans, my teammates and to the San Diego Padres," Grandal said in a statement. "I was disappointed to learn of my positive test, and under the joint drug program I am responsible for what I put into my body. I must accept responsibility for my actions and serve my suspension."

Grandal, a catcher, was a star in Tucson, hitting .335 with 24 extra-base hits (18 doubles) and 35 RBIs. He was called up to San Diego in the middle of the season and thrived with the big-league club.

He hit .297 in San Diego in 60 games with eight home runs and 36 RBIs.

Also on Wednesday, San Diego traded outfielder Blake Tekotte to the White Sox for right-hander Brandon Kloess. Tekotte, a 25-year-old outfielder, played in 89 games for Tucson.

Rockies hire manager

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - Walt Weiss was hired Wednesday night to replace Jim Tracy as manager of the Rockies and will make the rare jump from a high school dugout to the big leagues.

Weiss, the 1988 AL Rookie of the Year with Oakland, played shortstop for the Rockies from 1994 to 1997 and was a special assistant to GM Dan O'Dowd from 2002 to 2008. He left to spend more time with his family and last season coached Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo., to a 20-6 record and the 5A semifinals of the state championship.

El Paso passes ballpark tax

EL PASO - Voters have approved higher hotel occupancy taxes to help finance a $50 million minor-league baseball stadium.

El Paso voters endorsed the sports venue proposition Tuesday and cleared the way for a new home for the Triple-A Tucson Padres. The affiliate of the San Diego Padres was purchased last month by MountainStar Sports Group and is expected to play in El Paso in 2014.

Inside pitch

• Mark McGwire was hired Wednesday as hitting coach for the Dodgers. He spent the past three seasons in the same job with the St. Louis Cardinals.

• On the first day of the GM's three-day annual meetings in Indian Wells, Calif., Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers said he would listen to trade offers for two-time All-Star right fielder Justin Upton but thought a swap was not likely.

Daniel Berk

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