5 A's Prospects Fail Drug Test

Does AN hold a blind eye to the fact that we're the clubhouse leaders when it comes to Steriods?  It's safe to assume that our minor league system was a chemical lab, and things don't seem to be changing.  One of our top prospects, Javier Herrera, was caught as well.  David Castillo (Kane County) has tested positive 3 times!

The most notable was David Castillo of the Oakland A's, who was suspended for 60 games after he tested positive for the third time. The other 37 players were all suspended for 15 games each, the mandatory penalty after testing positive for the first time. Ten of them had already been released by their respective organizations before the test results were made public.

"We haven't been trying to keep these a secret," said Rob Manfred, MLB's vice president of labor relations and human resources. "They've always been handled by the clubs themselves at the Minor League level. But we thought we'd make it easier and put them all in one place. We're just trying to be more transparent at this point."

The Minor League testing program is much wider in scope than its Major League counterpart. In the Majors, players on the 40-man roster of each team are tested for steroids and steroid-based drugs only. In the Minors, players are tested for steroids and a variety of drugs, including amphetamines and recreational drugs like marijuana, cocaine and alcohol.

The positive results were registered in 925 tests collected at Minor League camps in Arizona during Spring Training, plus one administered during the offseason.

On Sunday, Tampa Bay's Alex Sanchez was suspended for 10 days in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. It was the mandatory suspension after an initial positive test at the Major League level for steroid use. Sanchez, whose suspension began on Monday, will miss eight games before he's reinstated on April 14.

Under the recently re-written program, baseball randomly tests all players on the 40-man rosters of Major League teams for a wide variety of anabolic androgenic steroids and steroid precursors all banned by the U.S. Government under "Schedule III" of the Code of Federal Regulations' Schedule of Controlled Substances.

MLB doesn't test for any other type of drugs at the Major League level under the current program, which was collectively bargained with the Players Association. This is the second year of punitive testing in the big leagues, but the first in which a player is suspended for an initial positive test.

Under the new program, which was implemented on March 3, a player is automatically suspended for 10 days after a first positive test, 30 days for the second, 60 days for the third, and one year for the fourth. All are without pay.

On the fifth offense, the Commissioner has the discretion to punish a player in a manner that is consistent with further positive tests. Offseason testing of Major League players also begins later this year.

In the Minor Leagues, a first offense nets a player a 15-game suspension; a second offense is a 30-game suspension; a third offense is a 60-game suspension; a fourth offense is one year, and a fifth offense gets a player banned from professional baseball for life.

Commissioner Bud Selig has made it clear, both in his testimony to Congress and in public statements, that he would like to implement the more far-reaching Minor League program in the Major Leagues.

Castillo, a 23-year-old catcher, spent last season playing for the Single A Kane County Cougars of the Midwest League. He batted .246 with nine homers, 28 doubles and 59 RBIs in 111 games.

As per privacy clauses in the program, A's assistant general manager David Forst declined to comment, saying only that "the program is in place, and it's working."

Player Minor League Club Major League Club Games Suspended:

  • Avendano, Elvis - Stockton Ports A's (15 Games)
  • Castillo, David Kane County Cougars A's (60 Games)
  • Herrera, Javier Kane County Cougars A's (15 Games)
  • Perez, Luis Kane County Cougars A's (15 Games)
  • Santana, Mayobanex Stockton Ports (released) A's (15 Games)
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