On Tuesday, Reds prospect Ian Kahaloa — a fifth round pick in 2015 — was suspended for 50 games after he failed a second test for a drug of abuse. We see these sorts of suspensions among minor leaguers so often that they barely register anymore. This one, however . . . has a bit more to it.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that, prior to his suspension, multiple videos surfaced which appeared to show Kahaloa using recreational drugs — possibly cocaine — while wearing a Reds shirt. The videos appeared on SnapChat and were seen by Reds officials, who refer to them as “alarming” in the Enquirer story.
You can see two of the videos below, which first surfaced in mid-March, and which were posted to Twitter by a Reds fan who discovered them via Kahaloa’s SnapChat account, tagging MLB and the Reds to alert them. Note: the videos appear to show drug use and feature drug paraphernalia:
The Enquirer reports that, upon being made aware of the videos in March, the Reds removed Kahaloa from spring training. He is now in a drug treatment program.
That’s a good call on the drug treatment. What they’re going to do about his apparent intelligence and judgment issues are another story entirely.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.