Minor league teams begin play in little more than a week, but today Major League Baseball announced that two players will not be in their teams' Opening Day lineups. Both players received 50-game suspensions for violating the game's minor league drug prevention and treatment program.
Cardinals 23-year-old minor league catcher Cody Stanley tested positive for Methylhexaneamine and Tamoxifen and will miss at least the season's first two months. A fourth-round pick from UNC Wilmington in 2010, he caught 80 games for low Class A Quad Cities last season, honing his receiving chops by working with Cardinals power-pitching prospects Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal.
Stanley batted .264/.317/.425 with 11 homers in 379 at-bats for Quad Cities last season, often slotting in behind dynamic outfield prospect Oscar Taveras in the lineup. In fact, Stanley and Taveras have powered the offensive attacks for the 2010 Johnson City Cardinals (Appalachian League) and 2011 Quad Cities River Bandits (Midwest), a pair of Cardinals minor league champions.
Twins lefthander Aaron Thompson failed a second test for a so-called drug of abuse and will sit out 50 games. He signed with Minnesota in December as a minor league free agent after spending last season in the Pirates organization. The Twins had ticketed him to Triple-A Rochester after the 25-year-old spent the bulk of the past four seasons in Double-A.
Thompson throws five pitches from a compact, efficient delivery, but his Double-A results, including a 5.03 ERA, 1.55 WHIP and 1.8 K-BB ratio in 449 innings, have been less than stellar. The Marlins drafted him 22nd overall in 2005 and then traded him to the Nationals straight-up for Nick Johnson at the ’09 trade deadline. The Pirates claimed him on waivers following the 2010 season.
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