Nationals catching prospect Adrian Nieto, who was Washington’s fifth-round pick in 2008, has been suspended 50 games for two banned substances named Oxandrolone and Metabolite.
His suspension will kick in once the season starts and Nieto will likely serve it while at high Single-A.
Baseball America tabbed Nieto as “the best switch-hitting catching prospect in the country” coming out of high school and he got $376,000 to sign with the Nationals, but in two seasons as a pro he’s hit just .210 with two homers in 110 games.
He has a blog set up on MLB.com, but Nieto either never posted an entry or the archives have been scrubbed clean.
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.