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Report: Marlon Byrd tested positive for PEDs, faces a 162-game suspension

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Vince Grzegorek of Cleveland Scene reports that Indians outfielder Marlon Byrd has tested positive for a performance enhancing drug and faces a 162-game suspension. This has not yet been confirmed by Major League Baseball, but it is expected to be soon.

The suspension would be Byrd’s second for PEDs. The first came in 2012 when he tested positive for tamoxifen, which is used to deal with the side effects of steroids. Byrd served a 50-game suspension then. As of now, a second offense brings a suspension of 162 games.

Byrd signed with the Indians in March on a minor league deal and made the team out of spring training. He’s being paid $1 million and had the possibility of another $2.5 million in performance bonuses. Though he turns 39 in August, he’s been productive this year, hitting .270/.326/.452 with five homers and 19 driven in while playing the corners in the Indians’ injury-riddled outfield. Now, if this report is confirmed, it will be an even thinner squad.

As for Byrd, he didn’t have a job until late March this season, despite the fact that he was coming off of a 23-homer year in 2015, and then he could only land the minor league deal at that. It’s hard to imagine him latching on anywhere after a year-long suspension at age 39. As such this may be, for all intents and purposes, a career-ending suspension for the 15-year MLB veteran.

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

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