Jason Pridie suspended 50 games for “drug of abuse”

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UPDATE #2: It took three days, but MLB has officially announced Pridie’s suspension.

UPDATE #1: Shea says the positive test was for a “drug of abuse” rather than a performance-enhancing drug, which means this was actually Pridie’s second positive test.

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Journeyman outfielder Jason Pridie has been suspended 50 games for violating the minor-league drug program, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Pridie signed a minor-league deal with the A’s in November after previously spending time with the Rays, Twins, and Mets.

He’s hit .226 with a .670 OPS in 112 games as a major leaguer, hasn’t been great in the high minors either, and was unlikely to make the Opening Day roster at age 28.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.

James Paxton has a fantastic new nickname

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James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.

And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:

“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”

“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.

“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.