Cleveland minor league reliever Steve Delabar was one of three players suspended on Monday for testing positive for substances in violation of the minor league drug program.
The veteran reliever of six big league seasons and a 2013 American League All-Star, Delabar signed with the Indians in the offseason on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. He was dealt an 80-game suspension without pay for a positive test for Ostarine.
Delabar had been cut towards the end of camp by the Indians and assigned to the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, but had not appeared in a game with the club through the first two and a half weeks of the season while placed on the temporarily inactive list with knowledge of his suspension looming.
In a statement released from Delabar’s agent, Barry Meister, the 33-year-old reliever shared the following:
“This spring I received a positive test for a banned substance from a contaminated non-certified over-the-counter dietary supplement. Although the traces present were extremely low, the rules are the rules. I understand the consequences of my irresponsible actions and take full responsibility to serve my suspension.
“I apologize to the Indians organization and all of those whom I have let down. I ask for forgiveness as I’m going to put this behind me and move on. I’ve been in this game for nearly 13 years and have never tried to gain a competitive edge through supplementation. Hopefully players around the league will not make the same mistake by thinking they are in the clear when it comes to non-certified supplements.”
Delabar would be ineligible for postseason play if he were promoted to the Indians at any point during the season.
The reliever began pitching professionally in the San Diego Padres organization in 2004 after being selected in the prior season’s draft. After failing to advance above the High-A level through the 2008 season, he was released, but eventually returned to the pro game with the Mariners in 2011 and made a rapid ascent through their farm system, making his Major League debut late that season. He was dealt to Toronto the following season and became an All-Star reliever the next year, but fell upon tough times over the last several seasons.
He split time last season with the Cincinnati Reds and their Triple-A affiliate in Louisville. He appeared in seven games with the Reds, posting a 6.75 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP in eight innings of work as control issues were a significant concern.
He appeared in eight games in Arizona for the Indians during spring training with a 6.48 ERA and a 2.52 WHIP in eight and one-third innings, issuing the most walks of the camp (9) among Tribe relievers during Cactus League play.
Two other right-handed pitchers were also suspended on Monday.
Seattle minor leaguer Jonathan Aro and free agent Jeffry Hernandez each received bans. Aro was suspended for 50 games for an unspecified violation, while Hernandez was docked 80 games for a failed test for the drug Stanozolol.
Aro had pitched in seven games over the last two seasons at the Major League level for Boston and Seattle.
A total of 30 players have been suspended for violations of the Major League and minor league drug programs this season, including a pair of MLB players (Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte and Philadelphia pitcher Elniery Garcia).
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