Brewers pitcher Mejía banned 80 games for positive drug test

NEW YORK (AP) — Milwaukee pitcher J.C. Mejía was suspended for 80 games on Tuesday following a positive test for the performance-enhancing substance Stanozolol, the second Brewers player disciplined this season under Major League Baseball’s drug program.

A 25-year-old right-hander acquired from Cleveland in November, Mejía had a 23.14 ERA during a pair of relief appearances for the Brewers on May 11 and 14. He had a 0.84 ERA in nine games with Triple-A Nashville.

Stanozolol is a synthetic steroid derived from testosterone.

“These mistakes have consequences,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Tuesday before his team’s home game against the Atlanta Braves. “It costs him a chance to establish himself as a major league pitcher. He’s got to take this opportunity, use the time to make himself better and see what that brings in August, July or whenever this suspension is completed.”

The penalty comes after Brewers catcher Pedro Severino was suspended for 80 games on April 5 following a positive test for the performance-enhancing substance Clomiphene, a women’s fertility drug used by some athletes to counter side effects of steroids use.

“These are unfortunate situations,” Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “I think every situation is unique, but it’s certainly unfortunate for the team and its unfortunate for the individual when this happens.”

Mejía made his major league debut with the Indians on May 21 last year and went 1-7 with a 8.25 ERA in 11 starts and six relief appearances.

He was placed on the restricted list Tuesday and will lose about half his salary. His contract calls for him to earn $701,900 while in the major leagues and $160,800 while in the minors.

Milwaukee replaced Mejía by selecting the contract of right-hander Trevor Kelley from Triple-A Nashville.

Mejía and Baltimore pitcher Matt Harvey, who was suspended for 60 games on Tuesday for drug distribution, raised to six the number of players suspended this year under the major league drug program.

Three free agents were suspended for 80 games on April 4 following positive tests for Boldenone: outfielder/first baseman Danny Santana, pitcher Richard Rodríguez and infielder José Rondón. Those were the first suspensions since the major league drug testing program resumed March 11 following a 99-day suspension during the lockout.

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