Oscar De La Cruz saw his 2016 and 2017 seasons cut short due to injury. Now, his 2018 campaign is already over for a completely different reason.The Cubs' No. 3 prospect has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for Furosemide, the Commissioner's Office announced Friday.
Oscar De La Cruz saw his 2016 and 2017 seasons cut short due to injury. Now, his 2018 campaign is already over for a completely different reason.
The Cubs' No. 3 prospect has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for Furosemide, the Commissioner's Office announced Friday.
Furosemide is a diuretic and masking agent banned by Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Because of the timing of the suspension, De La Cruz, who was on Chicago's 40-man roster but was playing at Double-A Tennessee, won't have time left in the Southern or Major League schedule to play again in 2018. He'll be eligible to play after the Cubs' third game next spring.
The 23-year-old right-hander had a 5.24 ERA with 73 strikeouts and 31 walks in his 77 1/3 innings at Double-A this season. That innings pitched already marked a career high. He pitched only 39 innings two years ago because of forearm soreness and totaled 56 2/3 innings in 2017 due to a pectoral injury. The Cubs still added the Dominican Republic native to the 40-man roster last November because his plus fastball and plus curveball made him a solid starting pitcher prospect.
The 6-foot-4 hurler wasn't likely to debut with the Cubs this season, however, especially after struggling for much of the first half in Double-A.
Forty-seven Minor Leaguers have been suspended in 2018 for violating the Minor or Major League drug program.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.