Since the end of the All-Star break, MLB has doled out nearly as many performance-enhancing substance suspensions as it issued in 2006 and 2007 combined.
With 12 players suspended on Friday, and one yesterday, the total number of suspensions since July 25th now totals 51. From the beginning of the season to May 16 (the last suspension doled out before the All-Star break), there were all of nine at the major and minor league levels.
To place this in perspective, there were a total of 37 suspensions in 2007 (8 at the major league level and 29 at the minor league level) and 33 in 2006 (3 at the major league level, 24 at the minor league level, and 6 from the Venezuelan Summer League).
All told, 70 PED suspensions were issued in 2006-2007. This season has seen 60 suspensions (2 at the major league level, and 58 at the minor league level).
The increase can be attributed to MLB now publishing suspensions for players in the Dominican and Venezuelan Summer League levels. In all, 47 players have been suspended out of the two development leagues this year compared to 11 from Rookie or MiLB clubs. Each Summer League suspension was announced after the All-Star break. The reason for this sudden surge in announcements? Previously, Dominican Republic laws had prevented player names from being published by MLB. Because of this legal hindrance, no one outside of MLB offices knows the total number of player suspensions from the DSL and VSL for PED violations.
The graph below shows the steady parade of suspensions since the All-Star break. The first bar represents all suspensions leading up to the All-Star Game, while all others show suspensions leading up to yesterday’s suspension of Runelvys Hernandez for 50 games after he tested positive for amphetamines.
For a complete historical accounting of all PED-related suspensions, along with other details, see The Biz of Baseball Drug Violations page.
Source: MLB, Business of Sports Network research