Rangers' Almanzar suspended 10 days for steroids

NEW YORK -- Injured reliever Carlos Almanzar of the Texas Rangers was suspended for the first 10 days of next season for violating baseball's steroids policy.

The announcement came Tuesday, shortly after the 2005 playoffs began. Almanzar is the 10th major-league player banned 10 days this year under the sport's new policy, and the second Texas pitcher. Right-hander Agustin Montero was suspended on April 20.

Almanzar's agent, Jeff Borris, said: "Carlos has the right to appeal the test results. He is not contesting the findings and he's going to serve the 10-day suspension. He has no statement other than that."

Borris is also the agent for Jorge Piedra, one of the 10 who tested positive under the current policy.

"It's disappointing, it really is," Rangers owner Tom Hicks said. "Our players know the rules. They know they are going to be tested. If any of them get caught, shame on them. I am

Almanzar had ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow in
May and missed the remainder of the season. He reported to Texas'
spring training headquarters in Surprise, Ariz., in July to
continue his rehabilitation.

The right-hander allowed eight runs in five innings spanning six
appearances this year following an extended stay on the bereavement
list. Just before the season began, he found out his mother and
brother had died in the Dominican Republic. The pitcher went home
and didn't rejoin the Rangers until April 15.

Almanzar went 7-3 with a 3.72 ERA in 2004.

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.