ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—Outfielder Josh Sale said he still doesn’t know what happened last fall, how he ended up with a positive test result for “methamphetamine and an amphetamine” and a 50-game suspension that ended his season with low Class A Bowling Green.
“It’s not known how I came (up) dirty, to be honest,” he said.
But what the 2010 first-round pick does know is that when he is allowed to get back on the field, sometime in late May, he will be determined to make up for lost time—and a tarnished reputation.
“The way I look at it is people who are looking from afar will want to judge me,” Sale said. “Through my game and showing them my game, hopefully that will show them I’m not what people may make me out to be.”
Sale signed too late to play in 2010 and struggled in 2011, so last season was his first taste of success in the organization. At the time of the suspension, Sale was batting .264/.391/.464 with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs in 74 games.
Sale said he was taking only certified supplements, fish oils and multi-vitamins, and was shocked when handed the letter informing him of the disciplinary action.
“I wasn’t expecting that at all,” he said. “I looked down at the bottom of the page and there it was, 50 games.”
At the time, he issued a statement through his agent saying the suspension was “unwarranted” because he did not take any banned substances. He said he “pursued an appeal of this suspension, but unfortunately was unable to uncover enough evidence of my innocence to proceed in good faith.”
Sale was invited to the Rays’ winter development camp and will participate in spring training, but when the full-season teams break camp, he will stay in extended spring to continue working until his remaining 40 games are served.
“With all that’s happened I try and look at it from life’s perspective; it’s something that comes with life. A lot of mistakes are made. You have to learn from them,” he said.
• The Rays signed outfielder Jason Bourgeois and righthander J.D. Martin to minor league deals with invitations to big league camp.
• Catcher David Wendt was suspended 50 games after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine, the seventh Rays minor leaguer to be suspended in the past year for drug-related issues. Wendt played at Double-A Montgomery last season.