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.”
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.