The Brewers won’t confirm it on the record because it is a sensitive, internal issue, but sources say that pitching prospect Jeremy Jeffress has failed another drug test.
Jeffress already is serving a 50-game suspension that carries well into the 2008 season for failing a drug test administered according to the Minor League Drug Treatment and Prevention program late in the ’07 season. Players are suspended 50 games for a first offense, 100 games for a second and banned for life for a third failed test.
It was announced that Jeffress tested positive for a “drug of abuse.” The specific drug was not identified by baseball but people familiar with the situation said that Jeffress has been caught using marijuana more than once.
The club-administered test that Jeffress failed during the fall instructional league program in Arizona does not fall under the auspices of the minor league drug program. Thus, it’s up to the club to apply any disciplinary measures it feels is appropriate.
Asked about that situation Sunday before Game 4 of the World Series, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said, “That’s confidential.”
Melvin did not deny that Jeffress failed a drug test. Instead, he said, “He is working with our EAP program.”
The team’s Employee Assistance Program is designed to help players with all sorts of problems, including drug use. Melvin said there had been no discussion yet as to whether the Brewers would add to the 50-game suspension already put into effect according to the minor league drug program.
Jeffress, 20, was the Brewers’ first-round draft pick in 2006 out of high school in South Boston, Va. With a fastball that often approached 100 mph, he performed well at low Class A West Virginia this year, going 9-5 with a 3.13 ERA, with 95 strikeouts in 86 1/3 innings.