The commissioner's office announced drug-related penalties for six minor league players last week. All six received 50-game suspensions for violating the minor league drug prevention and treatment program.
Free agent righthander Chaz Roe tested positive for an amphetamine. The 25-year-old pitched for the Mariners' Triple-A Tacoma affiliate last season, going 0-7, 6.59 in 33 appearances (10 starts) and posting an 83-to-38 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 99 2/3 innings. The Rockies selected Roe with the 32nd pick in the ’05 draft and traded him to Seattle for Jose Lopez in December ’10. He spent the past two seasons in Triple-A but has not reached the majors.
Free agent corner outfielder Smaily Borges refused to take a drug test, triggering his suspension. The 28-year-old Cuban, whom the Cubs released on Dec. 12, played for low Class A Peoria last season and batted .233/.278/.353 in 133 at-bats.
Free agent lefthander Dustin Richardson tested positive for five banned substances: an amphetamine, Letrozole and metabolite, Methandienone metabolite, Methenelone and metabolite and, finally, Trenbolone and metabolite. The Braves claimed the 28-year-old Richardson on waivers from the Marlins in June and then released him in December. He pitched for two Triple-A clubs last season, New Orleans and Gwinnett, logging 46 relief appearances and compiling a 4.79 ERA and 1.66 WHIP. He struck out 64 and walked 42 in 62 innings. A Red Sox fifth-round pick in ’06, Richardson made it to Boston for a combined 29 games in ’09 and ’10, but he hasn't pitched in the big leagues since heading to Florida for Andrew Miller in November ’10.
Free agent first baseman Daryle Ward tested positive for an amphetamine. The 36-year-old veteran began last season in the independent Can-Am League prior to signing with the Diamondbacks on Aug. 1. Ward batted .318/.445/.471 in 85 at-bats for Double-A Mobile, the eventual Southern League champions (and BA Minor League Team of the Year). Arizona released him on Sept. 12.
Free agent righthander Michael Hart earned his suspension after failing a second test for a drug of abuse. The Athletics released Hart (the organization's 19th-rounder in ’08) on Oct. 15 after he pitched for the club's two Class A affiliates in Burlington (Midwest) and Stockton (California). The 24-year-old Hart made 39 relief appearances last year, notching a 56-to-22 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 62 2/3 innings, accompanied by a 3.02 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.
Free agent righthander Steven Shell tested positive for metabolites of Stanozolol. The veteran reliever pitched for the Triple-A affiliates of the Royals and Braves last season, going 3-7, 4.98 in 36 appearances (seven starts) for Omaha and Gwinnett. He struck out 65 and walked 27 in 72 1/3 innings. The 28-year-old Shell reached the big leagues with the Nationals in both ’08 and ’09.
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