If it’s after 5pm, it must be minor league drug suspension time!

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It doesn’t happen every day, but a good 35-40% of the time, at about 5pm or so, I get a press release from Major League Baseball announcing minor league drug suspensions.

It’s getting to be like the whistle at the factory or something. A signal to me that the day is almost done and it’s time to go crack open a coldie. Well, some of us anyway. If you’re subject to the league’s drug treatment and rehabilitation program, you should probably not be using alcohol, dudes. Seriously.  Anyway:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that two Minor League players have been suspended following their violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Miami Marlins Minor League infielder Jaime Ortiz has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance.  Ortiz is currently on the roster of Double-A Jacksonville of the Southern League.

St. Louis Cardinals Minor League pitcher Jose Pasen has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for metabolites of Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing substance.  Pasen is currently on the roster of short-season Batavia of the New York-Penn League.

Hope you enjoyed the metabolites, fellas. For the rest of us, it’s Miller Time.

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.