Wilkin De La Rosa denies B-12 allegations
TRENTON — Trenton Thunder reliever Wilkin De La Rosa vehemently denied a New York Post report Friday that he and current Yankees starter Ivan Nova injected each other with Vitamin B-12 while teammates last season at Double-A Trenton.
Vitamin B-12 is legal and not on Major League Baseball’s list of banned substances, but the injections must be performed by a physician. Syringes also are not permitted in the clubhouse area unless they are being handled by a licensed trainer or medical practitioner.
“I have never done that and (it) has never entered my mind; I don’t know why anyone would make that comment,’’ De La Rosa said through bench coach and resident translator Vic Valencia prior to Monday night’s 4-3 win over Akron at Waterfront Park.
“I don’t even think about anything like that. They called me into the office (Friday in Harrisburg) and told me. I thought it was about something else … not even close to something like that. I have never done that.”
Nova, 23, also denied the allegations the day before his first big league victory Sunday against the Chicago White Sox.
“I didn’t use it,” Nova told The Post. “I was surprised.”
Check out the rest of the story, along with coverage of Lance Berkman’s first Double-A rehab assignment, in today’s Times of Trenton and nj.com.
As blogger and Hunterdon Democrat beat writer Mike Ashmore wrote this morning, give De La Rosa a lot of credit for taking the heat like a man and addressing the issue with the media before the game.
Here is manager Tony Franklin’s take on the De La Rosa allegations.
“I was shocked. I just don’t believe it. In my opinion I just don’t think it happened. This is a wonderful kid. He’s been nothing but professional since I’ve had him here; just an outstanding guy. I just don’t believe it happened. Whether it be positive or negative, true or false, I’d feel bad for both of those guys, simply because I think they’re both fine young men. I enjoyed having Nova when he was here. I certainly enjoy having Wilkin here. I am in complete shock that this article came about. I don’t think you guys are giving these two kids enough credit. I think they understand the parameters of what is to be taken and what isn’t to be taken. They have the all the information that they need to stay clean. I don’t think they would come to me or (trainer) Tim (Lentych) and ask if they could take extra B-12. It’s fine, that’s legal. I’m sure they’re aware that there’s a lot of stuff over the counter that could lead to a suspension of 50 games or more. For that reason, I think they would be very careful about what they put in their bodies. We have enough education now to know that whenever you’re going to take some type of supplement, that you would check with someone first. They certainly wouldn’t come to me. What do I know about it, other than to tell them to be careful.”
“Absolutely he was upset (about the reported investigation). I was upset for him. It crushed the kid. Whether it’s true or not, the allegation is out there. Once the allegation is out there, you can’t bring it back. That stigma could stick with him for a very long time, even if it’s proven false. That’s what harmful. The person who wrote the article, I don’t know his source and I don’t if it’s true or not, but the fact of the matter is that the allegation is out there. Now, how are you going to get that back? You can’t, and it’s very damaging. Nova is very young at the major league level, and De La Rosa is very young in his career, and they have to face these types of allegations? That’s tough. I’d be upset if I was him.
I’m sure he didn’t sleep very well. It’s very harmful. I hope everything is totally inaccurate and false, and it’s cleared up, and I hope these guys are left alone so they can continue to play baseball.”