While you weren’t looking, forty-two players have been suspended over the course of the year for being in violation of the minor league drug policy. The vast majority (37 of them) have been suspended for 50 games, while the balance (5 players), have been hit with 25 game suspensions. Add it up, and it comes to 1.975 games served under suspension across the minor leagues.
And while the season for the minors is far from finished, we can get a good idea of who’s where.
(SEE THE ALL-TIME DRUG SUSPENSION LIST)
While free agent players – those that have been released – lead the pack with 10 players, it is the Philadelphia Phillies organization that has the most players on rosters suspended for drug violations. The Phillies have had five players (San Lazaro Solano, Marcos Coca, Daniel DelaCruz, Ryan Sasaki, and Kevin Frandsen) suspended, each for 50 games. Three of those players (Solano, Coca, and DelaCruz) were part of the organization’s Dominican Summer League. Sasaki is part of the Phillies Gulf Coast League team, while Frandsen is the lone Triple-A player from Lehigh Valley.
After the Phillies, three organizations (Athletics, Reds, and Cubs) have each seen 3 players suspended. After that, it’s the Nats, Yankees, and Padres with 2 players, and the rest (D-Backs, Red Sox, Brewers, Royals, Rangers, Mets, Indians, Braves, Giants, and Astros) have one lone player.
In terms of substance suspended for, Stanozolol, a synthetic anabolic steroid derived from testosterone is the most common (11 players have been found to have tested positive for it). Stanozolol is followed by Boldenone (8 players), and Nandrolone (6 players), all of which are a form of anabolic steroid.
Two players have been suspended for amphetamine (Matthew Suschak of the Single-A Rome Braves and Joe Dickerson a free agent). Four players have been suspended for “drug of abuse” such as methamphetamine and other “street drugs” (Wayne Dedrick – D-Backs org, Andrew Doyle – Rangers org, Donavan Tate – Padres org, Daniel Tuttle – Reds org).
For those that think steroid use is all about bulking up for power, think again: 28 of the 42 (67 percent) of those suspended for being in violation of the minor league drug policy are pitchers.
Something to remember… 14 of the 42 players (33 percent of the total) are players from the Dominican and Venezuelan Summer League. An issue there is that many of the players are young teens that work with “buscones” who may tell players to take certain suppliants. Some may also do so willingly as getting a big league contract – even at the league minimum – can take care of a player and his entire family for life.
MLB, MiLB All-Time Drug Suspension List
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).
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