Today’s minor league drug suspensions

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Someone go figure out for me how many games the Arizona Rookie League Royals, the Bowling Green Hot Rods and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats will have to forfeit to make up for these drug violations:

  • Kansas City Royals Minor League first baseman Mark Donato has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine.  The suspension of Donato, who is currently on the roster of the Arizona Rookie League Royals, is effective immediately.
  • Tampa Bay Rays Minor League outfielder Joshua Sale has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for Methamphetamine and an Amphetamine.  The suspension of Sale, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Bowling Green Hot Rods of the Midwest League, is effective immediately.
  • Toronto Blue Jays Minor League right-handed pitcher Marcus Stroman has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine.

Or are we OK with these things being routine and not evidence of some Creeping Evil when minor leaguers are involved?

Sale, BTW, was the Rays top overall pick in 2010. Stroman was the Jays’ first round pick this year.

Reds sign Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal

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The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal worth $64 million. The contract includes opt-outs after both 2020 and 2021, which is certainly good for Castellanos, allowing him to go back out on the market if he has a big year. Odd that the Reds would agree to that, but on an annual basis it’s kind of a bargain for them so you figure that has something to do with it.

With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.

Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.

Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.