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Astros prospect Forrest Whitley suspended 50 games for a drug of abuse


One of baseball’s top prospects, Forrrest Whitley of the Houston Astros, has been suspended for 50 games for a positive drug test.*

Whitley, 20, was the Astros’ first round pick in 2016. He’s a right-hander who posted a 2.83 ERA with 143 strikeouts in 92.1 innings across three different levels of the Astros’ minor league system in 2017. He finished the year at Double-A Corpus Christi and appeared to be on track to make his major league debut at some point this season. He’s a consensus top-10 prospect in all of Major League Baseball.

No word on what the drug was for which he tested positive, but this is likely to delay his arrival in the bigs.

*This initially read “for a drug of abuse,” which a reporter had tweeted. The official MLB press release did not specify the drug, however, or say “drug of abuse.” Normally, a PED suspension states the substance found, and “drug of abuse” suspensions do not. As such, it’s unclear at present what Whitley tested positive for.

Daniel Murphy will miss the start of the season

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Daniel Murphy said today that he will not be ready for Opening Day and will start the year on the disabled list.

Murphy had microfracture knee surgery last October. While he has been able to take batting practice and field ground balls, his lateral movement is still limited. In his absence — which is not expected to last past mid-April or so — Howie Kendrick will get the bulk of the playing time at second base.

Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, smacked 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI in 2017.