With all the recent focus on the “Biogenesis 13,” and specifically the St. Louis Cardinals’ signing of shortstop Jhonny Peralta, many tend to forget or at least overlook that performance enhancing drug-related suspensions continue to be relatively common in the minor leagues.
As the 50-game suspension of State College pitcher Andrew Pierce was announced on Wednesday, it marked a rough stretch of recent PED suspensions for the Cardinals. Pierce will be serving the third penalty handed down to an organization player in the last five months. This follows a period of almost a year between suspensions – from September 2012 until August 2013.
Overall, the calendar year 2013 was not overly high on the suspension front, though. Just two were busted, after five Cardinals were caught during 2012. In fact, last year tied 2011 for the fewest positive tests among Cardinals since 2007. To help keep matters in context, at any given time, there can be as many as 250 or more minor leaguers under contract. For those wondering about timing, players are randomly tested year-round.
It is also interesting to note that of the eight players to have been caught over the last 24 months, only three are still with the organization today – catcher Cody Stanley, infielder Brett Wiley and Pierce. The latter two will sit out the first 50 games of the upcoming 2014 season.
Two other current Cardinals had failed tests before joining the organization. In those cases, the players had to serve out their 50 games immediately upon signing with St. Louis. Shortstop Diory Paulino (Red Sox) and pitcher Estarlin Arias (Nationals) completed their suspensions last season and are active on the Dominican Summer League Cardinals roster.
The complete list of 30 Cardinals minor league drug-related suspensions back to 2005 follows.
|4/4/2005||Sal Frisella||not announced||15 games|
|5/13/2005||Jeremy Cummings||not announced||15 games|
|4/18/2006||Yonathan Sivira||not announced||50 games|
|8/2/2006||Marcos Chavez||not announced||50 games|
|8/2/2006||Jonathan Gonzalez||not announced||50 games|
|2/20/2008||Scott Vander Weg||not announced||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||Amphetamine||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|
|9/30/2010||Lainer Bueno||Clenbuterol||50 games|
|6/24/2011||Andrew Moss||Drostanolone||50 games|
|11/1/2011||Reggie Williams||Methylhexaneamine||50 games|
|3/6/2012||Erick Hurtado*||Stanozolol||50 games|
|3/27/2012||Cody Stanley #||Methylhexaneamine, Tamoxifen||50 games|
|4/19/2012||Jose Pasen||Nandrolone||50 games|
|6/25/2012||Michael Swinson||Methylhexaneamine||50 games|
|9/6/2012||Alan Ahmady||Drug of Abuse||50 games|
|8/22/2013||Yoenny Gonzalez||not announced||50 games|
|9/4/2013||Brett Wiley #||Amphetamine||50 games|
|1/22/2014||Andrew Pierce #||Amphetamine||50 games|
|# = active in org|
|* = signing voided|