Today’s minor league drug suspensions

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Someone go figure out for me how many games the Arizona Rookie League Royals, the Bowling Green Hot Rods and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats will have to forfeit to make up for these drug violations:

  • Kansas City Royals Minor League first baseman Mark Donato has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine.  The suspension of Donato, who is currently on the roster of the Arizona Rookie League Royals, is effective immediately.
  • Tampa Bay Rays Minor League outfielder Joshua Sale has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for Methamphetamine and an Amphetamine.  The suspension of Sale, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Bowling Green Hot Rods of the Midwest League, is effective immediately.
  • Toronto Blue Jays Minor League right-handed pitcher Marcus Stroman has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine.

Or are we OK with these things being routine and not evidence of some Creeping Evil when minor leaguers are involved?

Sale, BTW, was the Rays top overall pick in 2010. Stroman was the Jays’ first round pick this year.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.