Major League Baseball announced on Sunday that Pirates pitcher Edgar Santana and four minor league players have been suspended for the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Baseball is back, baby.
Santana received an 80-game suspension after testing positive for Boldenone. The 28-year-old last pitched in the majors in 2018. He spent 2019 recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Reds minor league pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez (pictured) has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for Stanozolol. Dodgers minor league pitchers Reza Aleaziz and Juan Idrogo have been suspended 50 and 72 games after testing positive for Amphetamine and gw501516, respectively. Twins minor league second baseman José Rosario was suspended 50 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for a second time.
It is unfortunate that the minor league players would have been able to serve part of their suspensions in 2020 if it were a normal year. There will be no Minor League Baseball this year, unfortunately, so they will have to serve their suspensions in 2021.
Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.
The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”
Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.
Now, however, Kopech has opted out.