Mariners prospect Ji-Man Choi suspended 50 games for performance-enhancing drug

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Ji-Man Choi, a Triple-A first baseman in the Mariners’ farm system, has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug methandienone.

Most minor leaguers who get 50-game suspensions are non-prospects, but Choi got off to a great start at Triple-A this season as a 23-year-old and has put up huge career numbers. He’s definitely a solid prospect with some long-term upside.

Last season he hit .295 with 18 homers and a .929 OPS in 122 games split among three different levels and for his career Choi is a .312 hitter with a .414 on-base percentage and .512 slugging percentage.

The Angels to lower the right field wall

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The Los Angeles Angels announced today that they will lower the right field wall at Angel Stadium from 18 feet to eight feet.

The stated reason: to make room for a new out-of-town scoreboard and “philosophical changes.” Obviously, though, helping out lefty power hitters is on the agenda too. As it was, Angel Stadium was in the bottom ten of all parks in allowing homers for lefties.

One of their own lefties is Kole Calhoun, who is a pull hitter. Another one could be Shohei Ohtani, who is a lefty hitter. Although, as a righty pitcher, that could harm him against opposing lefty batters. I’m assuming, though, that the Angels ran a bunch of numbers to establish that this move helps them more than it hurts them, or else they wouldn’t be doing it.