ST. LOUIS - An investigation by Major League Baseball has found no wrongdoing on the part of the Diamondbacks in the matters surrounding the pitching prospect formerly known as Adriano Rosario.
"It was real good to hear," general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. said Friday.
As far as the team knows, there are also no sanctions against the pitcher. But because he obtained a visa under a false identity, there is still the issue of whether U.S. immigration will allow him back in the country.
The hard-throwing righthander, whose true name is Ramon Antonio Peña Paulino, used the name of his cousin to appear three years younger.
Even before the false name was discovered, an ESPN investigation showed that Ivan Noboa — a buscone, or independent developer of talent in the Dominican Republic — took $100,000 from the DBacks as part of the players’ June 2002 signing but did not tell the pitcher of that payment when he also took a $100,000 fee out of the $400,000 signing bonus.
Ivan Noboa is a brother of Junior Noboa, Arizona’s Director of Latin America Operations. MLB found, as the Diamondbacks insisted, that Junior Noboa did not conspire with his brother to have the player sign with the D-Backs (the Los Angeles Dodgers also had interest).
Peña (as Rosario) was a non-roster invitee to spring training and began the season with Class AA El Paso, where he went 3-3 with a 5.44 ERA in seven starts. After his identity came into question, he returned to the Dominican Republic and eventually made three appearances (as Ramon Peña) for Arizona’s entry in the Dominican Summer League.
Because Peña — a Midwest League all-star last year with Class A South Bend — is 22, he must be put on the 40-man roster this winter or be exposed to other teams in the Rule 5 draft. But there is some thought in the organization that he could help Arizona at the major league level soon with his fastball in the upper-90s mph range.
Outfielder Carlos Quentin was named Diamondbacks minor league player of the year and right-hander Enrique Gonzalez pitcher of the year.
Quentin, 22, was in his first pro season after being Arizona’s second first-round pick last year from Stanford. In 125 games for Class A Lancaster and Class AA El Paso, Quentin hit .332 with a .435 on-base percentage, 33 doubles, 21 homers and 89 RBIs. He was hit by a pitch 43 times, a minor league record.
Gonzalez, 22 and no relation to Edgar Gonzalez, was 13-6 with a 3.22 ERA for Lancaster. He began the year in relief but joined the rotation in early June and as a starter went 10-2 with a 2.46 ERA. In his final 13 starts, Gonzalez was 9-1 with a 1.80 ERA.
Lancaster won Thursday in the opener of the best-of-five California League championship series and was to face Modesto again Friday.
Bullpen coach Dennis Lewallyn, who is with his family in Pensacola, Fla., to deal with the effects of Hurricane Ivan, may not rejoin the team for another week. Coaches Tommy Jones and Mark Davis spoke Friday with Lewallyn, who told them his home was not damaged but that it had no power or water service and 18 trees on his property were knocked down by high wind.