Blue Jays' Minor League outfielder Brian Van Kirk was suspended 50 games Monday for his second violation of the Minor League drug program.
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced that Van Kirk, a left fielder with Double-A New Hampshire, received the 50-game suspension without pay after a second violation for a drug of abuse. The suspension of Van Kirk is effective immediately.
Van Kirk, 27, is batting .278 with two homers, 29 RBIs, three steals and a .412 on-base percentage in 70 games for the Fisher Cats. He also spent time with the team in 2012 and 2009.
Toronto's 21st-round pick in the 2008 Draft debuted with Class A Short-Season Auburn in 2008 and reached Double-A in his second season before spending two years with Class A Advanced Dunedin from 2010-'11. He hit .273 with seven homers and 44 RBIs last year after posting his best numbers in 2011 in the Florida State League, when he finished batting .292 with 17 homers and 66 RBIs.
The Oral Roberts University product was a Midwest League All-Star in 2009 with Class A Lansing. He last played July 28, going hitless against Altoona.
Players are typically issued a warning following a first positive test for a drug of abuse, followed by a suspension for a second offense. Substances considered "drugs of abuse" by Major League Baseball include cocaine, marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy and other opiates. Minor Leaguers who test positive for a performance-enhancing substance are subjected to an immediate 50-game suspension.
Major League Baseball has suspended 36 players in 2013 for violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Van Kirk is the second Blue Jays Minor Leaguer to be suspended this season -- Dunedin's Alan Farina was also banned for 50 games Jan. 16 for his second violation for a drug of abuse.