Spiezio out

Friday, August 10, 2007
Scott Spiezio, right, shown arguing a called third strike in Pittsburgh earlier this month, was placed on the restricted list Thursday. He is entering a treatment program for a substance problem. (Christopher Horner ~ Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

The utility player has been placed on the restricted list while he seeks helpfor a substance problem.

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals utility player Scott Spiezio voluntarily sought treatment for "possible problems related to substances" that the team did not specify.

Spiezio, who has relished a hard-rocking image through his 12 seasons in the major leagues, was placed on the restricted list Thursday and will be paid while he undergoes treatment. He has not played since Sunday.

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa would not say what substances were involved or where the treatment will take place. La Russa said the team learned of the problem Wednesday night, and expected that Spiezio "absolutely" will return this season.

"It speaks highly of Scott to come forward admitting recognition of a potential problem," Cardinals physician Dr. George Paletta said. "This allows the organization to provide him access to the appropriate resources for further evaluation and treatment."

It wasn't known whether Spiezio's situation involved drugs of abuse, performance-enhancing drugs, stimulants, alcohol or something else. He is not being disciplined by Major League Baseball under its drug program.

The Cardinals said in a statement that "Spiezio came forward to the club concerned about possible problems related to substances he was taking unbeknown to the team's medical staff."

La Russa said Aaron Miles would back up at third base.

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