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Two more Cardinals minor leaguers suspended

The St. Louis Cardinals have now had 19 drug-related suspensions of minor leaguers since 2005.

Drug-testUntil Monday, 2010 had been the best year since 2007 for the St. Louis Cardinals in terms of player suspensions under the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.  The organization, one of the most frequently cited since the program went into full gear in 2005 with 17 suspensions in five years, had none of the first 77 minor leaguers caught this year.

That changed with Monday’s announcement of 50-game suspensions for Cardinals pitchers Jean Carlos De La Cruz and Delvi Rodriguez, both from the Dominican Summer League. They tested positive for a metabolite of Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance. The two will begin to serve their suspensions at the start of the 2011 season.

De La Cruz, an 18-year-old from Santiago, Dominican Republic, was signed as a non-drafted free agent last October 28. In his rookie pro season, the converted third baseman appeared in just seven games, one since July 31. De La Cruz had a 4.70 ERA in 7 2/3 innings. His strikeout to walk ratio was a poor 11:19.

Rodriguez hails from the same hometown as De La Cruz. The left-hander turns 20 years of age in two weeks, on September 14. He originally signed as a non-drafted free agent on November 25, 2008. In 2009, Rodriguez posted a 1-0 record with a 4.50 ERA in nine games in relief for the DSL Cardinals.  In the just-completed 2010 season, he went 3-1 with a 3.74 in 13 games, including four starts. Rodriguez fanned 41 but issued 24 free passes in 33 2/3 innings.

On the way to six suspensions last year, at this point in 2009, three Cardinals suspensions had been announced. The Cardinals also had six suspensions in 2008, the last time Boldenone was detected in any of their farmhands, with three that year.

Cardinals minor league drug suspensions, 2005-current

Date Player Name Substance Length
4/4/2005 Sal Frisella PEDs 15 games
5/13/2005 Jeremy Cummings PEDs 15 games
4/18/2006 Yonathan Sivira PEDs 50 games
8/2/2006 Marcos Chavez PEDs 50 games
8/2/2006 Jonathan Gonzalez PEDs 50 games
2/20/2008 Scott Vander Weg PEDs 50 games
7/29/2008 Braulin Beltre Boldenone 50 games
7/29/2008 Andres Beras Boldenone 50 games
7/29/2008 Yedilson Pena Boldenone 50 games
8/25/2008 Juan Castillo Stanozolol 50 games
12/1/2008 Wilfred Vivas Methandienone 50 games
4/9/2009 Deryk Hooker Drug of Abuse 50 games
5/15/2009 Kenny Maiques Drug of Abuse 50 games
6/23/2009 Dail Villanueva Nandrolone 50 games
10/6/2009 Alan Ahmady Amphetamines 50 games
12/4/2009 Jefferson Segundo Stanozolol 50 games
12/21/2009 Tyler Bighames Drug of Abuse 50 games
8/31/2010 Jean Carlos De La Cruz Boldenone 50 games
8/31/2010 Delvi Rodriguez Boldenone 50 games

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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