Cardinal Prospect Fails Drug Test

St. Louis Cardinal prospect and former SIU Saluki star outfielder and a minor league All Star, has been suspended for 15 games for violation of "Major League Baseball's Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program"

Major Baseball announced Monday that minor league outfielder, Paul "Sal" Frisella, the Cardinals 37th round selection in the June 2003 First Year Player Draft, violated "Major League Baseball's Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program" against performance-enhancing substances (steroids and steroid precursors) and will be suspended for 15 games, effective with the first game of the Minor League season.

Frisella was one of 38 players who came up hot on the recent tests. These results reflect 925 tests that were conducted at the Minor League camps in Arizona during the 2005 Spring Training and includes one positive test from off-season testing. Random unannounced testing will continue to be conducted throughout the Minor League season.

Frisella, according to MLB, is currently with the Swing of Quad Cities, but as of Monday night, Frisella was not listed on the Swing of Quad City Roster, on the team's official website. It will be interesting to see what impact if any, this suspension could have on the future of the former baseball star from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale.

In his final season at SIU-C, Frisella hit .292 and lead the Salukies with 10 HRs and finished second on the team with 43 RBI. He also led his team in slugging percentage, runs scored, triples, and was among the leaders in most offensive categories and finished among the leaders in fielding percentage, with only two errors in 55 games.

Frisella played for the Peoria Chiefs in 2004 and hit .263 in 51 games with 5 home runs and 26 RBI, and is not currently ranked among the Cardinals top prospects. He has been expected to play off the bench this season for Swing.

In is first season in the Cardinals organization, Frisela played for the Johnson City Cardinals, where he was named to the Appalachian League All-Star Team.

A native of St. Louis, Mo., he ranked in several offensive categories for Johnson City in 2003. In addition to leading his team in batting average (.338) and runs scored (32), he ranked second in doubles (10), home runs (7), walks (21) and RBI (30). He also led the Appy League in on-base percentage (.440), listed second in slugging percentage (.545) and ranked third in hitting.

Frisella who turns 24 next week (April 10th), will need to put together a very good season this year if he is to continue to move up the minor league ladder. This suspension is certainly not the right way to start the season.

If it's any consolation sports fans, the Cubs had seven players who were suspended yesterday.

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