Bartolo Colon suspended 50 games for testosterone

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Melky Cabrera has company.

MLB just announced that A’s right-hander and former Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for testosterone.

Last week Cabrera was suspended for 50 games following a positive test for testosterone in the middle of a career-best season in which he hit .346 with a .906 OPS and won All-Star game MVP honors.

Colon hasn’t had quite that type of impact, but he’s been plenty solid for Oakland on a one-year, $2 million contract with a 3.43 ERA and 91/23 K/BB ratio in 152 innings spread over 24 starts. And now at age 39 it’s safe to wonder if he’s thrown his last pitch in the big leagues.

MLB previously investigated the stem-cell treatment that Colon received two years ago for his elbow in an effort to make it back to the majors after not pitching at all in 2010. He was successful in his comeback and MLB cleared him of any potential performance enhancing-drug violations.

It’s a tough blow for the A’s in the AL West and Wild Card races, but with Brett Anderson looking good in his return from Tommy John surgery last night and Dan Straily waiting in the wings at Triple-A their rotation depth is strong.

UPDATE: Colon won’t be appealing and admitted his guilt via an official statement: “I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A’s. I accept responsibility for my actions.”

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.