It’s late Friday afternoon, so of course it’s time to announce some drug suspensions.
Luis Atilano was one of two today. The former Washington Nationals pitcher got his 50-game ban for a second violation of the drug of abuse policy. Atilano, 27, is currently in the Reds system with Double-A Pensacola. He started 16 games for the Nationals in 2010, going 6-7 with a 5.15 ERA.
Red Sox prospect Marco Duarte received his 50-game suspension after testing positve for amphetamines. The 25-year-old right-hander was acquired from the Astros in a Rule 5 draft trade over the winter. Before that, he was pitching in Mexico. He had a 2.12 ERA in 34 innings of relief between Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland this season.
On Monday, Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil was placed on the 10-day injured list due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Cecil, who notably lost 42 pounds since the end of the 2018 season, was having trouble with his mechanics throughout spring training and only logged two official Grapefruit League innings.
Cecil, 32, is entering the third year of his four-year, $30.5 million contract. He struggled last year, finishing with a 6.89 ERA and a 19/25 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. The lefty dealt with shoulder and foot injuries during the season as well.
The Cardinals bolstered the bullpen in December, signing lefty Andrew Miller to a two-year, $25 million deal. It would be nice to have a healthy and effective Cecil, but the high-leverage workload will be managed by Miller and Jordan Hicks as well as Alex Reyes.
Cecil was among a handful of Cardinals to hit the injured list on Monday, joining Carlos Martínez (right shoulder cuff strain), Jedd Gyorko (right calf strain), Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement), and Justin Williams (right hand second metacarpal fracture).