Minor league suspension time, people. Today’s perp walk features single-A pitchers from the Indians and White Sox:
Cleveland Indians Minor League pitcher Harold Guerrero has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance. Guerrero is currently on the roster of the Single-A Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the New York-Penn League.
Chicago White Sox Minor League pitcher Andre Rienzo has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance. Rienzo is currently on the roster of the Single-A Winston-Salem Dash of the Carolina League.
Since I started getting these minor league suspension press releases last year, I’ve noticed that a huge number of them are of pitchers. One would think that would stop people from talking about how pitchers were the big victims of the steroids era, but that would require some critical thinking, and we don’t get much of that when it comes to steroids in baseball.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.