The Phillies just held a teleconference with reporters. Here is some of what GM Ruben Amaro Jr. and assistant GM Scott Proefrock had to say:
On if J.C. Romero was given the OK to take the supplement from Phillies strength and conditioning coordinator Dong Lien: "I will just say this about Dong Lien," Amaro said. "He comported himself in exactly the matter he should have. I'm completely supportive of what he did and how he handled the situation. It's just an unfortunate situation where a mistake was made and we have to deal with it accordingly."
Fairness in Romero's contention he was told after he took the supplement that it was a supplement he couldn't use: "We cannot comment on the specific facts of the case," Amaro said. "What we can tell you is that we're very supportive of what Major League Baseball has done and the policies it has implemented. That's as much as I can tell you about that situation."
On the perceived communication breakdown amongst Romero and what supplements he could and could not use: "Again, we can't really comment on the specifics of it," Amaro said. "I support how Major League Baseball has handled the drug policy issue all along and we continue to support it. Again, we cannot comment on the specifics of the issue. I'll sound like a broken record here, but the fact of the matter is we're supportive of J.C. It's an unfortunate event. We'll deal with it, and we'll move forward from it."
Possibility for Romero to appeal the suspension: "Not that I'm aware of," Proefrock said. "That process has played itself out. That's why the announcement was made. That's my understanding."
Romero's ability to train with team during spring training: Romero can train with the team in Clearwater, and Amaro said he expects to pitch Romero in Grapefruit League games. Romero likely will stay in Clearwater to pitch in extended spring training once the regular season begins. Once the 50-game suspension is up, Romero has a maxium of 16 days for a "rehab assignment" in the minor leagues. I'm not sure how much time Romero would need to pitch in the minors, if any, before the Phillies recall him to the majors. It might be no games. It might be a few games. In essence, Romero could miss more than 50 games if he needs a rehab assignment.
Amaro said they expect to fill Romero's vacancy internally, although he added the Phillies have looked at some of the remaining free agent pitchers. That might be true, but don't expect them to go after somebody of the caliber of Joe Beimel. It probably would be a shorter term solution.