3 more minor leaguers suspended for drug violations
NEW YORK (AP) — Kansas City outfielder Mike Bianucci, Seattle right-hander Edwin Martinez and Texas left-hander Chad James were suspended Friday for violating baseball’s minor league drug program.
Bianucci received an 80-game penalty, and Martinez was suspended for 72 games. James was banned for 25 games.
Bianucci had a positive test for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide 2 and metabolite, the commissioner’s office said, and Martinez for metabolites of Stanozolol.
The reason for James’ violation was not announced, but the only specified 25-game penalty in the minor league program is for unauthorized use or possession of a syringe.
Bianucci, 28, is in his eighth minor league season and is hitting .278 with 12 homers and 34 RBIs for Northwest Arkansas of the Double-A Texas League. He hit 30 homers for Texas’ Double-A Frisco team in 2011.
The 19-year-old Martinez has a 4.05 ERA in three appearances for the Dominican Summer League Mariners 1 after going 1-1 with a 2.22 ERA in eight starts and nine relief appearances for the same club last season.
James, 24 was selected by Florida with the 18th overall pick of the 2009 amateur draft and was released by the Marlins in March 2014. He signed with Texas last July but has not pitched this year following a 50-game suspension announced in January for a second positive test for a banned amphetamine.
There have been 63 suspensions this year under the minor league drug program.