Two Twins minor leaguers suspended for PEDs

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Major League Baseball just announced that two Minor League players from the Minnesota Twins organization have received 50-game suspensions for taking PEDs.

They’re not major minor league players — they’re pitchers Yeison Florentino and Ezequiel Zarzuela of the team’s Dominican Summer League team — but not everyone can be Ryan Braun.  They tested positive for metabolites of Nandrolone and metabolites of Stanozolol, respectively.

They should hire Braun’s lawyer. He would argue that they were not attempting to enhance performance. They were doing controlled scientific testing. Their paper — “On the benefits of competing metabolites; Nandrolone vs. Stanozlol” — was going to be published in a respected medical journal next summer.

That’s how I’d argue it, anyway.

Kendrys Morales pitched a scoreless inning Sunday

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Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.

Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.

Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.

On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.