NEW YORK -- Blue Jays left-hander Mitchell Taylor and former Red Sox starter Matt Rusch were suspended 50 games on Friday after each tested positive for a drug of abuse.
Taylor, Toronto's seventh-round pick in 2010, tested positive for a second time, as did Rusch, who was released by Boston last year. Taylor's suspension will be effective at the start of this season, while Rusch will serve his once he signs with a new team.
Taylor, 19, went 4-2 with a 4.23 ERA in 13 games for Rookie-level Bluefield last season, his first since being selected out of Spring (Texas) High School.
Rusch appeared in 21 1/3 innings over four games for Double-A Portland from Aug. 18-Sept. 2 and is currently a free agent. Originally signed as a free agent by Detroit in 2005, the 28-year-old reached Triple-A Toledo in 2008 and 2009 but left affiliated baseball when he signed with Quebec of the independent Can-Am League in 2010. Boston purchased his contract last summer.
Minor Leaguers are warned after testing positive for a drug of abuse, and then suspended after a second violation. The Commissioner's Office does not disclose the specific substance in these cases. Substances considered "drugs of abuse" by Major League Baseball include cocaine, marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy and other opiates.
The Office of the Commissioner has suspended 20 players this year for violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.