Columbus’ Colon Suspended for Remainder of Season
Bob Toth | On 01, Jul 2017
The Cleveland Indians bullpen depth took a hit on Saturday as minor league right-hander Joe Colon was suspended for the remainder of the season for a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment program.
Colon tested positive for the banned selective Androgen receptor modulator LDG-4022. It marks the second consecutive season that Colon’s work will be limited due to a failed drug test. He missed the first 50 games of the 2016 season after a second positive test for a drug of abuse.
The 27-year-old Colon, a member of the Indians’ 40-man roster, had pitched with Triple-A Columbus all season. He was recalled briefly by the Indians for a few days in early May, but did not make an appearance while back on the 25-man roster for the Tribe.
Colon made 28 appearances for the Clippers this season, posting no record with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. Opposing batters were hitting .260 against him. He was averaging more than a strikeout per inning this season, with 34 strikeouts and 18 walks in 32 2/3 innings of work.
He joined the Indians organization in 2009, when he was selected by the club in the 12th round of the June amateur draft out of Huertas Junior College in Caguas, Puerto Rico. He was a starter almost exclusively through the first five years of his professional career, but the Indians moved him into a relief role for the 2015 season, a year he split between Akron and Columbus.
After returning from his season-opening suspension last season, Colon put up great numbers for the Clippers and earned a July call-up to help the taxed bullpen. He spent several weeks on the roster before landing on the disabled list for three weeks. He returned to Columbus after being activated from the DL, but would rejoin the big league roster as a September call-up a couple of weeks later.
He was 1-3 with a 7.20 ERA and a 1.90 WHIP in eleven games for the Indians in 2016 and 0-1 with a 0.82 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP in 20 games for the Clippers.
Colon will miss the remainder of the season without pay. He is the second Indians minor leaguer to be suspended this season, following the 80-game hit given to veteran reliever Steve Delabar in April for Ostarine.
The San Francisco Giants organization also took a hit when their number eight prospect, Joan Gregorio, tested positive for the banned substance Stanozolol. The 25-year-old right-hander was 4-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 13 starts for the Giants’ Triple-A Sacramento affiliate. Like Colon, he was a member of his club’s 40-man roster.
In addition to the two minor league suspensions doled out on Saturday, Major League Baseball announced an 80-game suspension for Houston right-handed starter David Paulino. The 23-year-old second-year pitcher had made six starts for the Astros this season, posting a 2-0 record with a 6.52 ERA since his call-up on May 30 to fill in for an injury-ravaged starting rotation for the AL’s top club. He tested positive for the banded substance Boldenone.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images