They aren’t getting the hang of this whole PED testing thing. According to Maury Brown of Biz of Baseball, the Mets led all organizations with eight PED suspensions in 2009. The Cardinals and Royals were second with six.
Brown points out that 39 of the 82 minor league drug suspensions
occurred in the Dominican and Venezuelan Summer Leagues, a figure that
shouldn’t surprise when we learn many of the banned substances in the
MiLB policy are legal and can be purchased over the counter in those
countries. Five of the eight players in the Mets organization tested
positive while playing in these leagues.
There were four suspensions at the major league level last season
(Sergio Mitre, J.C. Romero, Kelvin Pichardo and Manny Ramirez) after Eliezer Alfonzo and Humberto Cota tested positive in 2008.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.