Astros’ right-hander David Paulino has received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for Boldenone, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Paulino is reportedly not appealing his suspension, which will make him ineligible to be placed on the Astros’ postseason roster in the fall.
Paulino, 23, was just starting to find his footing with the Astros prior to news of the violation. During his last outing on Wednesday night, the rookie right-hander struggled against the hot-hitting Athletics and was tagged for seven runs and four homers, earning another no-decision while the Astros went on to win 11-8. While he only saw the sixth inning once this season, he maintained a respectable 2.2 BB/9 and 10.6 SO/9 over his first 29 innings, collecting two wins in his first six starts. MLB Pipeline, Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America each ranked Paulino No. 3 among Houston’s current crop of prospects, highlighting his effective fastball-curveball combo and the way he works his 6’7″ frame to his advantage on the mound.
According to MLB.com’s Christian Boutwell, Paulino’s violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program is the first such infraction by an active Astros player in franchise history. This is the rookie’s second suspension within the Astros’ system following an undisclosed incident at Double-A Corpus Christi in 2016, though it marks the first ban he’s received for using a performance-enhancing substance. Manager A.J. Hinch offered a brief comment to the media following news of Paulino’s suspension on Saturday:
It’s very disappointing,” Hinch said. “This impacts clubhouses around the game from time to time, but you never think it’s going to happen in your clubhouse. It’s disappointing because of all the good that he’s done in his career and to be effective, but it’s the nature of the business when you try to find a competitive edge. The program’s in place to catch these type of actions, and clearly, it worked.