Bill Baer

Astros prospect Jonathan Arauz suspended 50 games after testing positive for Methamphetamine


Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports that Astros shortstop prospect Jonathan Arauz has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for Methamphetamine.

Arauz, 18, was acquired by the Astros from the Phillies in the Ken Giles trade in December 2015. Last season, with the Astros’ rookie ball team in Greeneville, Tennessee, Arauz hit .249/.323/.338 with 13 extra-base hits, 18 RBI, and 26 runs scored in 229 plate appearances. He was on the Astros’ low-A roster in Quad Cities to start the 2017 season.

MLB Pipeline ranked Arauz the 18th-best prospect in the Astros’ minor league system.

Arauz was not the only one suspended. Emmanuel Burriss of the Nationals received a 50-game suspension, per Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. Ty Ross, and Cody Brickhouse of the Giants were also suspended.

Seth Lugo diagnosed with a slight tear of his UCL

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Yesterday, Mets manager Terry Collins said pitcher Seth Lugo would miss “a few weeks” with a right elbow injury. He saw a doctor on Tuesday for a second opinion and was diagnosed with a slight tear of his UCL, Marc Carig of Newsday reports. Lugo’s medicals will now be reviewed by Dr. James Andrews, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Fortunately for Lugo and the Mets, the right-hander doesn’t need to undergo surgery. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection and will rest for a while. According to Carig, there is some thought that Lugo was initially injured at some point during the World Baseball Classic.

Lugo had been competing for a spot in the Mets’ rotation, but the elbow began bothering him towards the end of spring training. As a result, the final two rotation spots when to Robert Gsellman and Zack Wheeler. The Mets, however, are suddenly in need of starting pitching depth with Lugo and Steven Matz sidelined. Carig suggests the Lugo injury may be enough to motivate the Mets to address the depth issue.

Mike Scioscia plans to use a closer-by-committee system

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Angels reliever Cam Bedrosian told the media, including Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times, that manager Mike Scioscia informed him that he plans to use a closer-by-committee system in the bullpen. Moura says he’d be surprised, however, if Bedrosian wasn’t Scioscia’s regular choice to close while Huston Street is out with a strained right lat muscle.

Bedrosian, 25, impressed in spring training, tossing nine scoreless innings, allowing only four hits and a pair of walks with 11 strikeouts. That comes on the heels of a much more impressive 2016 campaign, during which he compiled a minuscule 1.12 ERA with a 51/14 K/BB ratio in 40 1/3 innings. One could very reasonably argue that Bedrosian has earned the right to hold the closer’s role by himself.

In the event Scioscia does not call on Bedrosian during a save situation, Andrew Bailey figures to be the next-most likely hurler to get the chance.