FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler died Monday morning, less than 24 hours after complaining of dizziness during a workout.
Team officials said Bechler was declared dead at 10:10 a.m. EST.
The 23-year-old pitcher spent the night in the intensive care unit at Northridge Medical Center. He was pale and feeling lightheaded Sunday while completing his final conditioning run on a back field at Fort Lauderdale Stadium, and he was taken from the complex by ambulance.
The initial diagnosis was heat exhaustion and dehydration, but his condition worsened after he arrived at the hospital.
Teammates were updated on Bechler's condition during a clubhouse meeting before taking the field for Monday's workout. They were summoned inside at 10:30 a.m. and told of his death.
Bechler made his major league debut last year, going 0-0 with a 13.50 ERA in three relief appearances. He was expected to begin this season with the club's new Triple-A affiliate in Ottawa.
Bechler was chosen in the third round of the 1998 draft out of South Medford High School in Oregon. He spent most of last season at Triple-A Rochester, going 6-11 with a 4.09 ERA in 24 starts.
Called up to the majors late in the year, he made his debut Sept. 6 against the Anaheim Angels.
"An Orioles source told the Washington Times that Bechler had a bottle of a supplement in his locker that contained ephedrine, an amphetamine-like stimulant found in some dietary supplements that has been linked to heatstroke and heart attacks. Ephedrine is designed to minimize fatigue, control weight and enhance performance.
Two sources also confirmed for the newspaper that after Bechler became ill, a member of the team staff took a bottle, believed to contain the supplement with ephedrine, out of Bechler's locker and threw it in the trash.
Ephedrine has been banned by the NCAA and NFL but not by Major League Baseball. Goldiner said he wasn't aware of any evidence that Bechler had been taking a dietary supplement such as ephedrine.
"We're going to wait to find out more about what happened," baseball spokesman Rich Levin said.
The case has been turned over to the Broward County medical examiner's office."
... Sounds pretty interesting. I've always wondered how bad the Cards' clubhouse must have been from 1977-1980 to convince Whitey to clean house. I've heard Whitey's POV on it; it would be cool to hear from one of the players.