Tides knuckleballer Gamboa suspended

Orioles right-hander banned 50 games after high testosterone result

Eddie Gamboa has held foes to a .241 average and seven homers in 77 2/3 innings. (Chris Roughgarden/Gwinnett Braves)

By Danny Wild / MiLB.com | June 13, 2014 7:20 PM

NEW YORK -- Orioles Minor League right-hander Eddie Gamboa was suspended 50 games without pay on Friday after testing positive for using testosterone.

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball said Gamboa tested positive for "exogenous testosterone," a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension is effective immediately.

"It's a violation of the policy set down by baseball," Orioles manager Buck Showalter told CSN Baltimore. "He had really emerged."

Gamboa, a 29-year-old right-hander, is 4-5 with a 4.06 ERA in 14 games, including a dozen starts, for Triple-A Norfolk. A knuckleballer, he ranks second in the International League with 74 strikeouts while walking 28 batters over 77 2/3 innings in his seventh Minor League season.

Gamboa transitioned to throwing knuckleballs last year when he worked with Phil Neikro in Spring Training. The plan worked out, with the veteran throwing a no-hitter for Double-A Bowie on June 30. Selected in the 21st round of the 2008 Draft out of the University of California-Davis, he finished the season 6-11 with a 4.43 ERA between Bowie and Norfolk, earning Eastern League Pitcher of the Week honors on July 1.

Gamboa had a brief stint on the Orioles' 40-man roster during the offseason and saw time at Major League camp during Spring Training, pitching 4 2/3 innings in five relief appearances.

"He was on the radar here, so it was unfortunate," Showalter said.

Gamboa is the 28th player to be suspended this year for violating the Minor League drug program.

Danny Wild is an editor for MiLB.com. Follow his MLBlog column, 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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