Driggers, Martinez suspended 50 games

Former Tigers outfielder banned for second time in three years

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com | January 9, 2014 5:47 PM ET

D.J. Driggers and Yonquelys Martinez, a pair of free agent Minor Leaguers, were handed 50-game suspensions Thursday after both tested positive for banned substances.

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball said Driggers, an outfielder released by Detroit, received a 50-game suspension without pay after a second positive test for a drug of abuse, while Martinez, released by Houston, received his ban after testing positive for metabolites of stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspensions will be effective immediately upon the players signing with a Major League organization.

Driggers, the Tigers' 22nd-round pick out of Middle Georgia College in the 2012 Draft, was previously given a 50-game suspension on Aug, 24, 2012, when he tested positive for drostanolone. He appeared in 33 career Minor League games with the Tigers' Rookie-level Gulf Coast League affiliate, hitting .250 in eight at-bats over five games last year after appearing in 28 games in 2012.

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.

Martinez signed with the Astros as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2011 and saw time with the Domincan Summer League Astros over three seasons. Last year, the right-hander went 1-3 with a 1.74 ERA over 19 relief appearances. He struck out 23 over 31 innings.

Stanozolol is a synthetic anabolic steroid derived from testosterone that is sometimes prescribed by veterinarians to encourage muscle growth, red blood cell production, bone density and to stimulate the appetite of weakened animals. It's also been linked to body builders and several former Major Leaguers players.

The Commissioner's Office has suspended four players this year for violations of the Minor League drug program after banning 60 in 2013.

Danny Wild is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow his MLBlog, Minoring in Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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