A Major League Baseball press release identified two violators of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program. Both pitchers now face 50-game suspensions.
Blue Jays minor league lefthander Mitchell Taylor failed a second test for a drug of abuse. The 2010 seventh-round pick went 4-2, 4.23 in 13 appearances for Rookie-level Bluefield last year, helping to lead the club to the Appalachian League finals. The 19-year-old ranked fifth in the league in WHIP (1.16) and fourth in opponent average (.242) while striking out 61 in 55 1/3 innings. Taylor signed for $367,500 out of Spring (Texas) High.
Free agent righthander Matt Rusch also failed a second test for a drug of abuse, so his 50-game suspension begins if and when he signs with another major league organization. The Red Sox signed the 28-year-old Rusch out of the independent Can-Am League last Aug. 15, and he made just four starts for Double-A Portland before attaining free agency in November. He finished with a 5.06 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 21 1/3 innings. Rusch also pitched in the Tigers system from 2005 to ’09.
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