Sosa's visa delay due to drug suspension

March, 3, 2010
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Relief pitcher Jorge Sosa finally joined the Red Sox Tuesday night after having visa problems leaving the Dominican Republic that were related to his suspension for taking amphetamines in 2008.

“The problem is, I took a greenie three years ago,” Sosa said. “[The consulate] suspended [my visa application] for two, three years. I don’t know.”

Sosa was suspended by minor league baseball for 50 games while in the Mariners system two seasons ago and experienced a similar delay last season when entering the country to attend camp with the Washington Nationals last year.

“I feel bad for him,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “It’s been a miserable 10 days for him.”

Sosa, who split time between Triple-A Syracuse and the parent Washington Nationals last season, will throw a side session at City of Palms Park today with Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell watching.

“We want to gauge where he’s at,” said Francona. “We don’t want to hurt him. It’s an unfair situation for him. He’s trying to compete and he’s lost ground. We’ll try to gauge where he is.”

The Red Sox signed the Dominican Republic native in January to a minor league deal. He was 1-2 with a 2.79 in 20 games for Syracuse, and 2-1 with a 6.45 ERA in 18 appearances for the Nationals.

“I come over here for opportunity for pitching,” Sosa said. “I do it for everyday money. If they send me to Triple-A, they send me to pitch in the big leagues, I pitch in the big leagues. I’m no joke anymore man, I’m 33 years old.”

Joe McDonald

ESPN Staff Writer



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