O'Dowd has talk with reliever Herges

GM O'Dowd speaks with reliever Herges

DENVER -- Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said Monday that he has spoken with right-handed reliever Matt Herges, who was accused of using steroids and human growth hormone in the Mitchell Report released last week, and he expects Herges to speak publicly at some point.

Herges hasn't spoken to the media since former Sen. George Mitchell's report was released Thursday. Information about Herges was provided by former Dodgers Triple-A strength and conditioning coach Todd Selyer and former Mets employee Kirk Radomski, who has pleaded guilty to one count of distributing steroids illegally and one count of money laundering as the result of a federal investigation.

Herges declined to participate in Mitchell's investigation and hasn't answered media requests.

"I think at some point Matt will address the issue, and when he addresses it, we'll address it at that point in time, too," O'Dowd said.

What isn't known is whether Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig will suspend Herges. Mitchell asked Selig to forego punishments except in "egregious" cases. The Radomski investigation accused Herges of trying to obtain HGH in 2004 and 2005, after baseball's drug testing/prevention program was in place.

Selyer linked Herges to steroids as early as 1999.

O'Dowd said the Rockies don't necessarily need to change their strategy just in case they lose Herges, who went 5-1 with a 2.96 ERA in 35 appearances last season, for a brief period.

"When we get back from the holidays, we're going to look at where we are and look at who might be out there that we might take a shot at bringing into camp," O'Dowd said. "It has nothing to do with Matt's situation. It's just how we do our business."

The Rockies are working toward completing a two-year, reported $7.5 million deal with Luis Vizcaino to work alongside Herges in a late-innings setup role. Help could come from a group of young setup men such as Ryan Speier, who was strong late in 2007, and Jose Capellan, who pitched well for the Brewers in 2006 but struggled with the Tigers last season.

O'Dowd also said he isn't certain if the Commissioner will discipline first-base coach Glenallen Hill, who was accused in the Mitchell Report of being involved with performance-enhancing drugs in 2001 at the end of his playing career.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.