Marlins pitching prospect Dan Jennings has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance called Methylhexaneamine, but the 23-year-old reliever said “it was an over-the-counter stimulant.”
At the time I had no idea what I was taking had something that was banned in it, but the substance in it was just added to the list. Not an excuse, just a fact. I should have been smarter. Now I pay the price. All there is to do now is take responsibility and serve my suspension.
Assuming he’s telling the truth Jennings is certainly handling the news well, but his story is a common one for minor leaguers and I’m continually amazed how often players take a substance without first checking in with the team. Jennings is a legit prospect, ranking 13th on Baseball America’s annual ranking of the Marlins’ farm system after being a ninth-round pick in 2008.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.