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Yankees' Baker suspended 50 games

Bombers catcher, 29, refused to take offseason drug test
Ryan Baker has not seen action behind the plate since 2011. Kevin Pataky/
December 4, 2013

Yankees Minor Leaguer Ryan Baker was handed a 50-game suspension Wednesday after refusing to take an offseason drug test.

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball said Baker will be suspended without pay to begin the 2014 season. Refusing to take an offseason drug test is considered a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Baker, 29, came up as a catcher but has had just two at-bats in the last two years for the Yankees. He did not have a plate appearance in 2013 but instead pitched in two games against Triple-A Rochester, totalling 4 1/3 innings in a pair of blowout games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

He also made a pair of appearances as a reliever in 2012. Baker made his Triple-A debut on June 4, 2012, when he pitched the 12th inning of the second game of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's double-header against Norfolk, earning the win, and he pinch-hit on Sept. 3, going 1-for-2 with a double before staying in the game as a pitcher and eventually taking the loss against Pawtucket.

The Maine native is 19-for-156 in 61 career Minor League games after signing with New York as an undrafted free agent in 2008 out of the University of Cincinnati. On the mound, he's 1-1 with a 5.87 ERA in 7 2/3 innings. 

Baker is the 60th player suspended in 2013 for violations of the Minor League drug program and is the second to be banned for refusing to take a drug test -- the Marlins' Kolby Copeland was also suspended for 50 games on March 5 and did not appear in a game the rest of the year.

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