Kolby Copeland, a 19-year-old outfielder who was the Marlins’ third-round pick in last year’s draft, has been suspended 50 games for refusing to take a drug test.
Copeland follows Rays minor leaguer Cody Rogers, who was also suspended for refusing a drug test back in December. However, unlike Rogers he’s actually a decent prospect.
Copeland was the 127th overall pick last June out of a Louisiana high school and got $367,000 to sign. Going into the draft Baseball America‘s scouting report noted that Copeland “sat out the first part of high school season serving a suspension stemming from an underage drinking and driving arrest.”
MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.
Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”
Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.
Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.