Pirates left-hander Nik Turley has been suspended for 80 games without pay after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance called Ipamorelin, the league announced Saturday. Turley will begin his suspension at the start of the 2018 season.
The 28-year-old lefty is coming off of his first season in the majors, one in which he never quite managed to find his footing. He debuted with the Twins in the summer of 2017 and bounced back and forth between the majors and Triple-A, eventually finishing the year with an unsightly 11.21 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.6 SO/9 in 17 2/3 innings.
Last November, Turley was claimed off waivers by the Pirates, who were presumably hoping to see more of the 2.05 ERA he flashed in Double- and Triple-A than the double-digit numbers he posted in the big leagues. He was expected to give the club some added left-handed depth in the bullpen behind swingman Steven Brault, but will now have to sit out the first 11 weeks of the season before earning another look in the majors.