Paulino hopes to have US visa next week

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SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (AP) - New York Mets catcher Ronny Paulino says he will not be able to arrive at the team’s spring training camp in Florida until next week at the earliest because of visa problems.

The 29-year-old catcher has been unable to leave his homeland of the Dominican Republic because of issues related to his 50-game drug suspension last season while with the Florida Marlins.

Paulino said Thursday that he believes he will receive a visa next week from the U.S. consulate. He says he’s not sure what day that might be.

Paulino agreed to a $1.3 million, one-year contract with the Mets during the offseason and is expected to back up Josh Thole. He batted .259 with four homers and 37 RBIs last season for the Marlins.

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