Collier, Rodriguez suspended for drug violations

Tigers righty gets 100-game ban; Nationals righty out for 50 games

Tommy Collier won't pitch in the Minors until 2018 at the earliest following his latest suspension. (Kevin Pataky/

By Sam Dykstra / | May 16, 2017 7:15 PM ET

Three Minor League pitchers received suspensions of varying lengths Tuesday for violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Tigers right-hander Tommy Collier was suspended for 100 games for his third positive test of a drug of abuse while free-agent hurler Montreal Robertson will sit for 50 games for his second positive test in the same category. Nationals right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was banned for 80 games after testing positive for a metabolite of Clomiphene, which is considered a performance-enhancing substance by the Minor League program.

The Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program defines the following as drugs of abuse -- marijuana, hashish, THC, synthetic THC, cocaine, LSD, opiates (such as oxycodone and heroin), ecstasy, GHB and PCP. Clomiphene is an anti-estrogen drug typically used as a fertility aid that also has uses as an anabolic steroid.

Minor League drug suspensions in 2017

Rodriguez will begin his suspension immediately. Robertson's will begin after he signs with a club. Collier's is a little more complicated. The 27-year-old pitcher is already serving a 50-game suspension, announced back in January, for a second positive test of a drug of abuse. His 100-game ban won't begin until that original suspension is completed. 

Collier pitched the entire 2016 season for Double-A Erie, going 9-7 with a 4.20 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 130 2/3 innings. It was his fourth season making an appearance in the Eastern League.

Rodriguez was in the midst of his best professional season for Class A Advanced Potomac when the suspension was announced. The 23-year-old right-hander was named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year for May 1-7 after tossing eight one-hit innings at Down East on May 3. He put up a 3.21 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 41 innings before being moved to the restricted list.

Robertson has not pitched in the Minors since 2015. The 26-year-old right-hander missed the entire 2016 season due to a shoulder injury that occurred while weightlifting during Spring Training last year. He was outrighted off the Tigers' 40-man roster that March and was released by Detroit on April 20.

Thirty-five players have been suspended this season for violating the Minor League drug program.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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