Lopez on loss of B-Mets slugger, 'This team is not based on Puello'

By Travis Eldridge

August 6, 2013 Updated Aug 6, 2013 at 6:33 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Binghamton Mets are not built around one player. That was what manager Pedro Lopez said Tuesday as he addressed the suspension of outfielder Cesar Puello for the first time.

"This team is not based on [Cesar] Puello, or [Josh] Rodriguez or Logan [Verrett] or [Noah] Syndergaard," Lopez said. "It's 25 guys pulling in the same direction."

Puello was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball on Monday for a violation of the MLB's Joint Drug Prevention & Treatment Program. When addressing media for the first time about Puello's suspension, Lopez reiterated the Mets statement from Monday, which said the team continues to support the drug treatment program.

But he added that he spoke to the team about the situation and said it's a tough position that he isn't used to.

"It's hard, and I really have to be honest with you guys. It's the first time that I have ever had to go through something like this, and I'm nervous," said Lopez. "It's really touchy and it's hard. We've just got to move forward and we have a good team. These guys have been doing a hell of a job this year."

Losing Puello from the line-up though, certainly doesn't make things easier for the B-Mets. He led the team in RBI's and batting average, and was second on the squad in home runs.

Binghamton starts a four-game series with Altoona on Tuesday.

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