Five Minor Leaguers have been handed lengthy drug-related suspensions for violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced Friday.
Astros right-hander Carlos Pimentel was suspended 56 games for a positive test for Stanozolol, free agent and former Tigers right-hander Angel Nesbitt was given a 50-game ban for Heptaminol and Blue Jays prospects Hugo Cardona, Yhon Perez and Leonicio Ventura were handed 72-game suspensions for Boldenone.
All suspensions come without pay. Pimentel's ban will begin at the start of the 2018 Gulf Coast League season while the suspensions for Cardona, Perez and Ventura will take place at the start of the Dominican Summer League campaign. Nesbitt's suspension won't begin until he signs with a Major League organization.
Stanozolol and Boldenone are both listed as banned performance-enhancing substances under the Drug Prevention and Treatment Program while Heptaminol is considered a prohibited stimulant.
Pimentel went undrafted out of Western Oklahoma State College and was signed by the Astros on June 29. The 23-year-old right-hander collected three saves and posted a 4.66 ERA with 21 strikeouts and six walks in 19 1/3 innings for Houston's GCL affiliate.
2017 Minor League suspensions
Nesbitt officially became a Minor League free agent on Nov. 6 after nine seasons in the Tigers system. Most recently, he posted a 6.08 ERA with 16 strikeouts and seven walks over 13 1/3 innings between three levels in 2017. He made 24 Major League appearances for Detroit in 2015, posting a 5.40 ERA over 21 2/3 frames, but was outrighted off the 40-man roster last January.
Cardona, Perez and Ventura each made their Minor League debuts this season for the Blue Jays' DSL affiliate. Carona, a shortstop, hit .249/.342/.285 with 15 stolen bases in 57 games. Utilityman Perez produced a .249/.335/.332 line in 55 games, while catcher Ventura was perhaps the most accomplished of the group with a .290/.370/.419 line in 33 contests.
The Commissioner's Office has suspended 78 players this year for violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.