Three minor leaguers suspended

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Can’t wait for ESPN the Magazine’s survey about what people think of THESE guys. The unlucky winners:

  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Minor League outfielder Brandon Bayardi, who is on the roster of the rookie-level Orem Owlz of the Pioneer League, has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine.
  • New York Mets Minor League left-handed pitcher Daniel Huchingson, who is on the roster of the Double-A Binghamton Mets of the Eastern League, has been suspended for 50 games without pay after a second violation for a drug of abuse.
  • Toronto Blue Jays Minor League catcher Sean Ochinko, who is on the roster of the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons of the International League, has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine.

Nice mix of drugs this week, guys. Really like to see that out there. Way to keep ’em guessing. Now, everyone in … 1! 2! 3! Drugs! — “DRUGS!!”

That’s what I like to see.

A.J. Hinch responds to Ken Giles’ negative comments about Astros

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On Sunday, Blue Jays closer Ken Giles spoke to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star. Giles said, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston.” Giles won a World Series with the Astros last year, but talked about communication issues with the Astros and compared them unfavorably to the Blue Jays. Giles described the communication as having been “lost” and credited the Jays for staying patient with him.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch responded to Giles’ comments on Monday. Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Hinch said:

I think he’s wrong and I’m disappointed that he would go down that path given how much work and time and energy and communication that our front office, our coaching staff, me, we all went through this with him. And I understand, there was some disappointment in his tenure as an Astro because of the turbulent way things went about. We gave him every opportunity, we communicated with him effectively, we have an incredible culture where every single player will tell you it’s one of the best cultures they’ve had, one of the best communication envrionments they’ve had. They all know their roles. They all know their situations. To have one person out of all the guys in our clubhouse come out and claim otherwise is flat wrong.

While Giles certainly could be embellishing or deliberately misconstruing his time there, Hinch’s rebuttal doesn’t actually disqualify anything Giles said. Giles certainly could have had a negative experience in Houston even if everyone else was enjoying the “incredible culture” and “one of the best communication environments.”

Given how the Astros — including Hinch — responded to criticism about their acquiring an accused domestic abuser, they’re not in the best position to boast about an “incredible culture” anyway.

At any rate, this is a he-said, he-said situation. If anything more comes of it, it will be Giles further torching a bridge.