Figueroa Latest Suspended

The commissioner’s office has suspended Dodgers minor league lefthander Jonathan Figueroa for 50 games for testing positive for a performance enhancing substance in violation of the minor league drug prevention and treatment Program. His suspension will take effect on June 19th, the date of the first scheduled game of the season for Rookie-level Ogden.

Figueroa once ranked as the Dodgers’ No. 2 prospect (heading into the 2003 season–the Mark Teixeira cover Prospect Handbook, for BA fans) after he went 7-3, 1.42 with 105 strikeouts and 39 walks in 76 innings between the Pioneer and South Atlantic leagues. He threw in teh 89-94 mph range with his fastball, and his curveball was considered the organization’s best.

However, the Venezuela native, who signed for $500,000, never followed up with any success, and his career ERA was 5.26 entering the season. He’s never pitched 100 innings in a season due to injuries (shoulder) and ineffectiveness.

Just 23, Figueroa was in extended spring training and had not been assigned to a full-season roster, another sign his star had fallen significantly.