Former Kansas City Royals slugger Jose Guillen is under investigation for performance-enhancing drugs, and he was left off of the San Francisco Giants’ postseason roster because of the investigation – and not because of an injury, as team officials previously claimed – according to the New York Times.
Guillen’s removal from the Giants’ postseason roster was a surprise to many baseball insiders, but the outfielder has been haunted by injuries in the past, so no one was shocked when team officials cited a nagging neck injury as the reason he was dropped from the roster.
Now, that appears to not be the case. According to the Times, it appears that Major League Baseball directed the Giants to leave Guillen off the roster because of the investigation.
The federal investigation apparently centers around shipments of Human Growth Hormone being sent to Guillen’s wife. In addition to the federal inquiry, Major League Baseball has also opened its own investigation.
Guillen has been a controversial figure during a 14-year big league career spanning 10 organizations. His two-and-a-half season stint with the Kansas City Royals, for which he was given a three-year, $36 million contract, was his longest tenure with any single team. While in Kansas City, Guillen provided a modest spark to an otherwise stagnant offense, but he also caused problems off the field by picking fights with fans, insulting his teammates to the media, and removing his own ingrown toenail without team or doctor consent.
Guillen has also run afoul of baseball’s steroids policy in the past. He was named in the Mitchell Report as one of 89 players in baseball linked to performance-enhancing drugs. Guillen was suspended for the first 15 games of the 2008 season – his first in Kansas City.
MLB Trade Rumors speculates that Guillen’s removal from the Giants’ postseason roster might actually have been a blessing for the team. After defeating the Atlanta Braves in the divisional series and the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS, the Giants hold a 2-0 lead over the Texas Rangers in the World Series. Guillen would have probably taken playing time away from Cody Ross, who is batting .317 with four home runs and a .732 slugging percentage in the playoffs.
Matt Kelsey is a Royals writer and the content editor for I-70 Baseball. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.