Astros right-handed prospect Ruben Alaniz has been suspended 50 games, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced Saturday.
Alaniz, who is on the Double-A Corpus Christi roster, had tested positive for a drug of abuse for a second time. His suspension will go into effect immediately and will carry into the 2015 season.
The 23-year-old right-hander was signed by the Astros as a non-drafted free agent back in 2009 and had been a starter at Rookie-level Greeneville (2010), Class A Lexington (2011), Class A Advanced Lancaster (2012) and Corpus Christi (2013) before moving to the bullpen this season. In 14 appearances (29 1/3 innings), he owned a 6.44 ERA with 15 strikeout and 26 walks in the Texas League before the suspension.
Alaniz owns a career 4.78 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 100 career Minor League appearances.
Before being suspended, Minor Leaguers are given one warning upon their first positive test for a drug of abuse. They are suspended 50 games for a second positive test and 100 contests for a third. Major League Baseball considers cocaine, marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy and other opiates to be "drugs of abuse," and thus, those are the substances that would lead to such penalties.
Forty-nine players have been suspended in 2014 for violations of the Minor League drug program.