MIAMI -- With growing speculation that Alex Rodriguez could be disciplined by the end of the week, it once again raises awareness of potential performance-enhancing drugs scandals.
Recently, Milwaukee's Ryan Braun accepted his season-ending suspension. Now, the Yankees are preparing for the likelihood of being without A-Rod for an extended period.
"As baseball players, we just want a level playing field," Marlins closer Steve Cishek, the team's union player representative, said. "If there is one good thing that's come out of this, it is the people who took the drugs were caught. They're being punished for it. Now, we all get to move on from it. Hopefully, if anyone else is doing the same thing, they get caught as well."
There is the possibility of a number of players being disciplined as a result of investigations into the Biogenesis scandal.
"Everyone wants to be treated fairly and play this game fairly and have the same advantages as everyone else," Cishek said.
According to Cishek, threats of suspensions should alert all players to be more careful when taking supplements. The right-hander noted players should closely read NSF-certified labels to see if products contain any banned substances.
"Now that all this has happened, it might start increasing the amount of players checking out NSF labels, making sure they are taking the right products, just in case of a mistake," Cishek said. "It's happened to teammates and friends in the past, where they were taking stuff, not thinking it was a big deal, and the next thing they know, they have a 50-game suspension. That was completely by accident. Minor League testing is pretty strict. It's unfortunate something like that will happen."
Seeing high-profile players being punished is an eye-opener for everyone in the game.
"People who were part of this need to be punished. That's just the way it is. That's why the system works," Cishek said. "It's getting old. We thought we got past the steroid era. Now, it's like more people are starting to take drugs that we don't know about yet. We just have to trust the system and hope it all works out."
Ruggiano responds to Tino's version of disagreement
MIAMI -- Marlins outfielder Justin Ruggiano acknowledged he had an exchange of words with former hitting coach Tino Martinez, but he claims it didn't involved picking up baseballs in the batting cage.
Without going into much detail, Ruggiano on Tuesday responded to a report in which Martinez gave his side of the story as to why he resigned as Miami's hitting coach on Sunday.
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reported Martinez admitted to having disagreements with Derek Dietrich, Chris Valaika and Ruggiano.
"Do you realize I'm basically out of baseball basically because a couple of players didn't pick up balls in the cage when I asked them to?" Martinez said in the story.
Martinez stepped down on Sunday after it was made public that there were incidents of him being abusive to players.
Dietrich is currently at Double-A Jacksonville, and Valaika is at Triple-A New Orleans.
Regarding Ruggiano, Martinez recalled an incident in Spring Training when the outfielder returned to the clubhouse without picking up baseballs hit in the cages off a machine. According to the report, someone else cleaned up the cage.
"So one day I confronted [Ruggiano] and told him how he was a terrible teammate, how he treated the players, how he was this and this and this," Martinez said to Rosenthal.
Ruggiano on Tuesday responded: "I was disappointed in being called a bad teammate. That was between me and him. Our incident, between Tino and I, wasn't about picking up baseballs. I never had a problem about picking up baseballs. Never will. I'm just going to leave it at that."
Martinez's resignation comes at a time the young Marlins are starting to put things together. Clubhouse chemistry is the best it has been in years, and players are closely knit.
As an organization, the Marlins are putting Martinez's resignation behind them.
"This team right now, we are doing too many good things to harp on something like this," Ruggiano said.
Ruggiano's playing time has been reduced since outfielders Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick were promoted from Double-A.
To make himself more versatile, Ruggiano has been working with infield coach Perry Hill at first base on the basics of the position.
"I'm picking [Hill's] brain, picking up a new position," Ruggiano said. "I figure, why not pick up things from the best? He is here. He's one of the better guys as far as instructing the infield."
Ruggiano last played first base, on an emergency basis, in the Minor Leagues with the Astros in 2012, prior to his trade to Miami.
Marlins move top prospect Yelich into leadoff spot
MIAMI -- Christian Yelich went from No. 1 prospect to No. 1 in the Marlins' batting order in a week. Miami manager Mike Redmond batted the rookie in the leadoff spot on Tuesday night and bumped shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria down to the No. 2 spot.
After batting second behind Hechavarria in his first six MLB games, Yelich returns to lineup spot he occupied regularly with Double-A Jacksonville.
"He's been leading off all year in the Minor Leagues," Redmond said. "So get him up there and maybe that gets [Hechavarria] a few more better pitches to hit."
Said Yelich: "I feel comfortable really hitting anywhere in the lineup. I spent a lot of time in the leadoff spot down there in Jacksonville, so it's something that's not really new to me."
Yelich was a stellar hitter atop the Suns' lineup, batting .280 (54-for-193) with a .365 on-base percentage and 33 runs scored in 49 games.
Although his numbers have dipped to a .241 (7-for-29) batting average and a .291 on-base percentage with Miami entering Tuesday, Yelich has impressed in limited MLB action and says a change in his lineup spot will not change his plate approach.
"I'm just trying to get on base and get something started," Yelich said. "Leadoff, two-hole, you can't really treat it any different. It's going to be exciting. It's going to be awesome. I'm looking forward to it."
With Yelich moving up, Hechavarria moves down to the No. 2 spot in the order after spending 10 straight games in the leadoff spot. He batted .186 (8-for-43) with three walks, four stolen bases and a run scored atop the order.
Redmond decided to move Hechavarria up to the leadoff spot after the shortstop batted .444 (24-for-54) in the first 14 games of July. But Hechavarria has cooled off since and has gone 14 straight at-bats without a hit entering Tuesday.
"He's done a nice job up there, but he's had a few games where he looks like he's grinding a little bit," Redmond said. "So maybe drop him down a spot and take a little pressure off of him."
Redmond has said several times this season that he believes Hechavarria is best suited to hitting second. Hechavarria was batting .148 (4-for-27) in seven games at the No. 2 spot in the lineup entering Tuesday.
"I really see [Hechavarria] in the two-hole," Redmond said. "That's kind of where I see him, a guy that can hit a fastball. This is where I kind of envision him down the road."
Although Redmond said he sees Yelich as "a leadoff guy" and likes Hechavarria batting second, he does not rule out changing up the batting order again. Redmond began the season using 43 different lineups in the Marlins' first 44 games.
"I've mixed and matched and done a lot of different things," Redmond said. "I try to get guys in a spot where they don't have pressure. Sometimes, just maybe one spot in the order makes a difference."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.