By Chris Kline
June 24, 2005
Five more minor league players were suspended effective today for violating Major League Baseball’s performing-enhancing drug policy. All the players have been suspended for 15 games as first-time offenders.
This time around, the highest-profile player is Reds righthander Jeff Bruksch. A fifth-round pick of the Athletics in 2001 out of Stanford, Bruksch was dealt along with righthanders Joe Valentine and Aaron Harang for outfielder Jose Guillen in 2003. The 25-year-old former Stanford closer was off to the best start in his career, going 3-3, 2.94 with 59 strikeouts in 49 innings at Double-A Chattanooga this year.
The other four players suspended are Sergio Garcia (Dodgers), Brian Walker (Mets), Jeffrey Kennard (Yankees) and Josh Carter (Phillies).
Garcia has been primarily a utility player this season at Double-A Jacksonville, playing shortstop, second base, third base and the outfield for the Suns. The Arizona State product was hitting .271-1-18 in 96 at-bats.
Walker, a fourth-round pick of the Mets in 2001 out of Miami, spent the last two seasons in low Class A and went 5-5, 3.45 for South Atlantic League runner-up Capital City last season. This year, the 24-year-old lefthander was 3-1, 4.80 in 30 innings at high Class A St. Lucie.
Kennard was a 40th-round pick of the Yankees in 2000 out of Rend Lake (Ill.) Junior College and hasn’t pitched above high Class A in five seasons. This year, the righthander was 6-1, 4.33 in 35 innings at high Class A Tampa.
This was Carter’s first season in the Phillies organization. A 14th-round pick of the Padres in 2001 out of Oregon State, Philadelphia picked him up in the Rule 5 draft last year. The 24-year-old outfielder was hitting just .218-3-18 in 110 at-bats at high Class A Clearwater.