Two Twins minor leaguers suspended for PEDs

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Major League Baseball just announced that two Minor League players from the Minnesota Twins organization have received 50-game suspensions for taking PEDs.

They’re not major minor league players — they’re pitchers Yeison Florentino and Ezequiel Zarzuela of the team’s Dominican Summer League team — but not everyone can be Ryan Braun.  They tested positive for metabolites of Nandrolone and metabolites of Stanozolol, respectively.

They should hire Braun’s lawyer. He would argue that they were not attempting to enhance performance. They were doing controlled scientific testing. Their paper — “On the benefits of competing metabolites; Nandrolone vs. Stanozlol” — was going to be published in a respected medical journal next summer.

That’s how I’d argue it, anyway.

Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.

This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.