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Grandal to report to Triple-A on Saturday

Grandal to report to Triple-A on Saturday

BALTIMORE -- It's nearly time for Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal to leave extended spring camp in Arizona and begin his road back to the big leagues.

Grandal was suspended for the Padres' first 50 games in November after he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone.

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Grandal is eligible to come off the restricted list on May 28 when the team is in Seattle, though he can begin a Minor League stint on Saturday, a period that can't exceed more than 10 days.

The Padres have mapped out a plan for him that will see him report to Des Moines on Saturday, where Triple-A Tucson is playing. He will remain with the team during a four-game series in Omaha beginning Monday. The team returns to Tucson on May 24.

"He feels good, everything is solid, offensively and defensively," Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said recently. "We will get him ready to play in those games and evaluate where he is and where our roster is."

Grandal was able to participate in drills and games in Spring Training, and he remained in Arizona when after the team broke camp in late May.

The Padres have two catchers on their roster; Nick Hundley and John Baker. Baker, who got the start against the Orioles on Wednesday, entered the game hitting .115. Baker has Minor League options, meaning that he'll likely be the one optioned to Triple-A Tucson when the Padres deem Grandal fit to return.

Grandal made his Major League debut with the team on June 2 of last season. In his first start against the Rockies on June 30, Grandal hit two home runs.

He later missed 17 games with a strained right oblique muscle. Grandal hit .297 with eight home runs and 36 RBIs in 60 games.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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