Happy 21st birthday: Phillies prospect Zach Collier suspended for amphetamines

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Phillies prospect Zach Collier, who was the team’s first-round pick in 2008, has been suspended 50 games by MLB after testing positive for an amphetamine.

The kicker: Today is his 21st birthday.

Collier is a left-handed-hitting outfielder who missed all of 2010 with injuries and spent this season at low Single-A, batting just .255 with a .328 on-base percentage and .349 slugging percentage in 112 games. He did swipe 35 bases, but was thrown out 13 times and managed just one homer while striking out 99 times.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes that Collier is the sixth Phillies prospect to be suspended this season, which is the most in baseball.

Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly asks to be traded

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Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.

Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.

Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.

Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.