Even with the stricter rules and tougher testing, some players will still try to sneak one past Major League Baseball. Elniery Garcia found out that it doesn't work.
Garcia tested positive for Boldenone, an anabolic steroid that was developed primarily for veterinary use with horses. Garcia, who is on the DL at Reading, will miss more than half of the minor league season and will also lose his pay for that period of time. There was no immediate timetable for Garcia's return from the DL, where he landed with what is being termed shoulder fatigue. Garcia has yet to pitch this season.
Last season seemed to be somewhat of a breakout season for Garcia, who made 20 starts with High-A Clearwater and posted a 2.68 ERA and a 12-4 record with the Threshers. As the season progressed, Garcia's velocity improved and he was moved up to Double-A Reading to make one postseason start. His fastball late last season was clocked in the mid-90s, a few miles per hour higher than it had averaged prior to the season.
The Phillies added Garcia to the 40-man roster over the Winter to protect him from being taken in the Rule 5 Draft. The minimum salary for a player who is on the 40-man roster for the first season in his career, and playing in the minors is $86.5-thousand. The suspension will cost Garcia roughly $48-thousand.
If there is any upside for the Phillies, it's that Garcia will now be placed on the restricted list and will not count against their 40-man roster count. That means that there is now one spot open for another player. The Phillies may wind up placing starter Clay Buchholz (partial tear of right flexor pronator mass) on the 60-day DL, which would open up a second spot. The Phillies would then need to clear spots to reactivate Garcia and/or Buchholz when they are eligible to be activated.
Garcia was ranked 22nd among all Phillies prospects by Philly Baseball Insider.
Phillies Players Banned for PED Usage
(As reported by Corey Seidman, CSNPhilly.com)
|2017 - Elniery Garcia|
|2016 - Alec Asher, Daniel Stumpf|
|2014 - Antonio Bastardo|
|2012 - Freddy Galvis, Carlos Ruiz|
|2009 - J. C. Romero|