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.

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.