ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals utility player Scott Spiezio is voluntarily entering a treatment program for a substance problem 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.
Before Wednesday’s game, La Russa said he believed Spiezio had been hampered by a minor medical concern.
“I wasn’t sure until yesterday that there was something besides a virus or a bug or whatever,” La Russa said.
Spiezio, who played a big role as the Cardinals won last year’s World Series, is hitting .272 this season with three homers and 27 RBIs in 184 at-bats.