Update: There was a fifth player suspended: Royals minor league pitcher Arnaldo Hernandez will sit 50 games after testing positive for methamphetamines, per Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Major League Baseball suspended four minor league players on Thursday for positive drug tests. The players are:
- Free agent pitcher Mario Alcantara, suspended 50 games for amphetamines (via Evan Drellich)
- Red Sox catcher Jake Romanski, suspended 50 games for amphetamines (via Drellich)
- Astros pitcher Brendan McCurry, suspended 50 games for methamphetamines (via Jake Kaplan)
- Indians pitcher Dakody Clemmer, suspended 50 games for a second positive test for a drug of abuse (via Paul Hoynes)
The suspensions will be effective at the start of the 2017 regular season.
Alcantara, 23, spent last season with High-A Salem, putting up a 3.16 ERA with a 68/48 K/BB ratio in 79 2/3 innings. He made one start and 31 relief appearances. The Red Sox signed Alcantara out of the Dominican Republic in 2009.
Romanski, who turned 26 years old today, spent the 2016 season with Double-A Portland, batting .308/.338/.410 with 26 extra-base hits, 38 RBI, and 34 runs scored in 357 plate appearances. He was selected by the Red Sox in the 14th round of the 2013 draft.
McCurry, 24, split the season between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno, putting up an aggregate 3.07 ERA with a 94/21 K/BB ratio in 82 innings over 55 relief appearances and one start. The Athletics picked him in the 22nd round of the 2014 draft.
Clemmer, 20, pitched his first season of professional baseball last year in rookie ball. He made 17 relief appearances spanning 18 2/3 innings, posting a 7.71 ERA and a 21/13 K/BB ratio. He was selected in the 19th round of the 2016 draft by the Indians.
Newly acquired third baseman Todd Frazier spent his first five games with the Yankees on the road, playing once in Minnesota and four games in Seattle. He was set to take his first at-bat as a Yankee at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night against the Reds. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite go how he likely expected them.
The Yankees quickly loaded the bases on consecutive singles from Matt Holliday, Didi Gregorius, and Chase Headley to lead off the bottom of the second inning. That brought up Frazier in his first at-bat at Yankee Stadium. He got ahead in the count 3-1 against Luis Castillo before hitting a sharp grounder to shortstop Jose Peraza. Gregorius went back to second base because he thought the ball had a chance to be caught on a line. Peraza stepped on the second base bag, then fired to first base for the double play. Votto then threw across the diamond to Eugenio Suarez at third base, catching Gregorius out in no man’s land. Holliday scored in the meantime, breaking a 0-0 tie, but Gregorius was eventually called out for running out of the base line in a run down.
Frazier entered the evening with just two hits (both singles) and one walk in 18 plate appearances as a Yankee.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Brewers have agreed to a deal with the White Sox for reliever Anthony Swarzak. The White Sox will receive 3B/OF Ryan Cordell in return.
It’s no secret that the 53-48 first-place Brewers are on the hunt for relief help. While closer Corey Knebel has been great, the Brewers have been shaky leading up to the ninth inning as Carlos Torres owns a 4.65 ERA and Oliver Drake 5.05.
Swarzak, 31, has posted a 2.23 ERA with a 52/13 K/BB ratio in 48 1/3 innings this season. He can become a free agent after the season.
Cordell, 25, hit .284/.349/.506 with 10 home runs and 45 RBI in 292 plate appearances at Triple-A Colorado Springs. He’s the Brewers’ No. 17 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.