On Saturday, Indians’ 24th round draft pick Skylar Arias was placed on the temporarily inactive list by the club. On Monday, the left-hander was moved to the restricted list as he was suspended by the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball for his violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The 19-year-old southpaw will be out of action for 56 games without pay, courtesy of a failed drug test for the performance-enhancing substance Nandrolone. The steroid was developed over 50 years ago and is known as a bulking agent as well as having benefits for strength, healing, fatigue, and recovery.
The 6’3” 190 lb. Arias was selected by the Indians in the June draft after one season at Tallahassee Community College. He announced his signing with Cleveland on Twitter on June 17 and was formally assigned to the team’s Arizona League club on June 20. In eleven appearances this season, he was 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He struck out 20 batters and walked three in 19 1/3 innings of work.
He is the fifth member of the Indians organization to receive a suspension in 2016. Reliever Joseph Colon, who has pitched for Triple-A Columbus as well as the parent Indians this season, was handed the first suspension of the season (50 games) on January 8 for a “drug of abuse”. Another pitcher, Jordan Dunatov (Arizona League), received a similar 50-game violation for a drug of abuse on February 29.
At the Major League level, Abraham Almonte received an 80-game ban in February for a positive test for Boldenone, while Marlon Byrd was suspended for 162 games on June 1 after testing positive for Ipamorelin, effectively ending his professional career with his second failed test.
Minor league outfielder Luigi Rodriguez also spent time suspended to start the season, finishing out the 80-game suspension he received on August 14 of last season for Stanozolol.
Two additional suspensions were announced by Major League Baseball on Tuesday for violations of the drug abuse program, pushing the list to 70 players suspended at the minor league level throughout the professional game.
A total of 108 suspensions of Minor Leaguers were given out last season, following 60 in both 2014 and 2013 and 105 in 2012.
Photo: Tallahassee Community College