MLB Hands Out 50-Game Suspensions To Pirates, Marlins Farmhands

Major League Baseball handed down 50-game suspensions without pay to three minor league players that resulted from failed drug tests. 

• Most notably, Pirates low Class A West Virginia lefty Zack Dodson incurred his penalty after a second violation for what the game's Joint Drug Agreement classifies as a drug of abuse. Pittsburgh signed Dodson, a fourth-round selection in 2009, away from a Baylor commitment with a $600,000 bonus, though he hasn't developed as quickly as the organization had hoped.

In his second crack at the South Atlantic League, Dodson went 6-6, 4.86 through 21 starts with an uninspiring 67-to-40 strikeout-to-walk ratio (with a scouting report to match) in 100 innings. The 22-year-old's changeup has been his best pitch as a pro, but he'll need to add power to a mid- to high-80s fastball and soft curveball to find success at higher levels.

• Marlins short-season Jamestown righty Matt Milroy tested positive for Methylhexeanamine. An 11th-round pick from Illinois this year, he went 2-3, 4.11 with 30 strikeouts and 23 walks in 35 innings in New York-Penn League play.

• Like Milroy, righthander Bryan Berglund also tested positive for Methylhexeanamine. Upon hearing the test results, the Marlins released their ’09 second-round pick, whom they signed for $572,500. Miami received all of 11 2/3 innings from Berglund, all of which he logged this season with short-season Jamestown. He signed late in his draft year and didn't play, then spent all of 2010-11 on the disabled list.

Subscribers can read all about Berglund's unique heritage (for a baseball player) on his BA player card. Just follow the link above.