Meneses on way out at Orix

Orix Buffaloes said Thursday that it in the process of voiding its contract with first baseman Joey Meneses after he failed doping tests for the anabolic steroid  Stanozolol and now faces a one-year suspension. The 27-year-old Meneses said he was shocked by the results having never tested positive before but that he had to accept the results.

Sports Nippon reported on June 16 that Meneses was expected to be released by the Buffaloes.

Meneses made an impressive start to his time in Japan with a big series at Kyocera Dome, his future home park, while playing for Mexico against Japan’s national team. But in April he said he was disappointed that he had not been able to adjust to Japanese pitching more quickly, and was in and out of the lineup.

After leading the International League in home runs and RBIs last season, the 27-year-old was reportedly targeted by several NPB clubs before settling on the Pacific League’s Buffaloes.

He has played in 29 games this season, batting .206 with four home runs, but has been on the farm team since injuring his right hand in a game against the SoftBank Hawks.

The Buffaloes are expected to make an announcement in the coming days.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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