It was announced yesterday that Tigers minor league right-hander Cesar Carrillo was suspended 100 games for violating the minor league drug prevention and treatment program. No specific drug was mentioned in the announcement, but it was later confirmed that the suspension was the result of his connection to the Miami-based Biogenesis clinic. But there’s a whole lot more where that came from.
Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Gio Gonzalez, Jhonny Peralta, Yasmani Grandal, Francisco Cervelli, Bartolo Colon, Jesus Montero and Danny Valencia are among the major leaguers who have been linked to the clinic. MLB will obviously have a tougher time putting the hammer down on that group since they are protected by the union, but it’s clear that this story is far from over. It was reported earlier this week that the Florida Department of Health has opened an investigation into Biogenesis and Dr. Anthony Bosch, a potentially important development, but it remains to be seen whether they have any interest in cooperating with MLB.
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.