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Mets prospect Bernard suspended again

Former American League All-Star closer Perez banned 50 games
June 24, 2015

NEW YORK -- Mets right-hander Derrick Bernard and Major League veteran reliever Chris Perez were suspended Wednesday after testing positive for banned substances.

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball said both Bernard and Perez received 50-game suspensions without pay following their second positive tests for a drug of abuse, a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Bernard, who is still serving a 62-game suspension imposed in August, will begin serving this ban after completing the first. Perez's suspension becomes effective immediately upon signing with a Major League organization.

Bernard, 23, signed with the Mets on June 14, 2014 after his sophomore season at Sul Russ University in Texas. He appeared in six games in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, striking out eight batters and walking nine over seven innings in six relief appearances. He had two saves and held opponents to a .231 average.

The former college football quarterback has not appeared in a game this season after he was suspended following a positive test for a metabolite of nandrolone, a performance-enhancing substance.

Perez appeared in six games this season with Triple-A Colorado Springs after Milwaukee signed the right-hander to a Minor League contract on April 6. The 29-year-old posted a 9.39 ERA after allowing eight runs on 14 hits in 7 2/3 innings before electing free agency on April 27. His last outing with the Sky Sox came on April 23 at Round Rock.

Perez was an AL All-Star for the Indians in 2011 and 2012 when he ranked fourth in the league in saves with 36 and 39, respectively. Over eight big league seasons, he's 16-24 with 133 saves, a 3.51 ERA and 362 strikeouts in 393 career games with the Cardinals, Indians and Dodgers. His last Major League appearance came on Sept. 21, 2014 with Los Angeles.

Players typically are issued a warning following a first positive test for a drug of abuse and a suspension for a second offense. Substances considered "drugs of abuse" by Major League Baseball include cocaine, marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy and other opiates.

Major League Baseball has issued 66 suspensions this year for violations of the Minor League drug program.

Danny Wild is an editor for Follow his MLBlog column, Minoring in Twitter.