Emmanuel Clase was set to bring major velocity to the Cleveland bullpen when baseball resumed. Instead, he will have to wait a bit longer.The Indians' No. 15 prospect has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for the banned performance-enhancing substance Boldenone, Major League Baseball announced Friday. Per Major League
Emmanuel Clase was set to bring major velocity to the Cleveland bullpen when baseball resumed. Instead, he will have to wait a bit longer.
The Indians' No. 15 prospect has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for the banned performance-enhancing substance Boldenone, Major League Baseball announced Friday. Per Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, "a 'game' shall include all championship season games and post-season games, including any tie-breaker games, in which the Player would have been eligible to play," meaning Clase's suspension won't start until Major League Baseball officially begins the 2020 season.
"We were disappointed to learn of today's suspension of Emmanuel Clase for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," the Indians said in a statement. "We fully support Major League Baseball's policy and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing drugs from our game. We have been in contact with Emmanuel, and we will welcome him back after the discipline has been served. Per the protocol outlined by Major League Baseball's Collective Bargaining Agreement, we will not comment further on the circumstances surrounding this announcement."
Clase joined the Cleveland organization in December when he was acquired, along with outfielder Delino DeShields, in the deal that sent Major League starter Corey Kluber to the Rangers. The 22-year-old right-hander made his Major League debut last season and featured in 21 games for Texas, posting a 2.31 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with 21 strikeouts over 23 1/3 innings. He finished with a 2.82 ERA, 50 strikeouts and nine walks over 44 2/3 frames between Double-A Frisco and Class A Advanced Down East before that.
Clase only appeared in one Cactus League game for the Indians this spring due to an upper-back strain suffered in late February.
The Dominican Republic native's quick ascent was aided by his signature velocity, particularly on his cutter. The pitch averaged 99 mph in the Majors and reached triple-digits at times. Clase also features a low-90s slider that he threw about 21 percent of the time. He was expected to potentially set up for closer Brad Hand, along with fellow prospect James Karinchak.
Clase is the seventh Minor League to be suspended in 2020 and the third to be punished for testing positive for Boldenone.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.