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  • Eddie Rosario Suspended for 50 Games

    The news came early on Saturday afternoon when USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweeted that Twins prospect Eddie Rosario would be suspended 100 games for testing positive for recreational drug usage. Twins media guru Dustin Morse quickly tweeted a response that the suspension was for 50 games. The penalty is 50 games because it was his second positive test.

    When the first reports of a possible suspension came out in November, it was believed that it was a performance-enhancing drug. At the time, Parker Hageman went to Google Translate to decipher an article from a Venezuelan newspaper:

    Here is the explanation from the article through Google translation:

    The General Manager of the Indians, Frankie Thon, explained how he heard the news. "Eddie Rosario called me three days ago, I had some bad news, which was positive in this test question that supposedly hurt his arm and took some pills and was positive to some kind of 'drug'. It has 50 sets of suspension and understood that he could not play Winter League, "said Thon.
    We don't know what the "recreational drug" was, though I can say that it likely comes as no surprise to many.

    That said, Twins fans need to take a step back and look at this from a larger perspective.

    1.) A 50 game suspension really only affects Rosario's development and timeline. In reality, he was going to start 2014 in New Britain with a chance to be called up later in the year to Rochester. He could have been a September call-up, if not sooner. A 50 game suspension likely means he will spend a few games in Fort Myers with the Miracle getting back into the swing of things before going to New Britain.

    2.) Rosario does need to be added to the Twins' 40 man roster next November (or be subject to the Rule 5 draft... where he would be taken). The 40 man roster is also something that is relevant to this story. You see, marijuana is not a drug that is tested for on players on the 40 man roster. Read into that as you may.

    3.) It may take a while to regain his credibility in the minds of some, but this (on its own) does not take anything away from Rosario's status as a prospect. This is clearly a mistake, and hopefully it will be no more than a hiccup on the road to the big leagues. Consider, Twins reliever Anthony Swarzak once was suspended 50 games for a "drug of abuse" too. He was given a second chance and he has made the most of it. Rosario can do the same thing.

    4.) Does it hurt his trade value? Perhaps, and maybe that's important if the Twins are trying to deal him (which we don't know). Again, those around the game know Rosario well. Remember, he is just 22 years old. He's got a long career in front of him.

    On a personal level, I know there are a lot of people who are and have been very concerned about him. As fans, let's see how he responds to this. He'll get another opportunity and hopefully he can make some changes. We hope this suspension is something that pushes that to happen. It is important to note that the next suspension, if there is one, would be 100 games.
    Comments 30 Comments
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Why 100? I thought the first positive test was 50?
    1. Jdosen's Avatar
      Jdosen -
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      Man, isn't that the second on the list...so he has 50 for taking pills due to an injury, announced in November, and this for recreational usage...so won't it be for 150?
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Nightengale had it wrong evidently. 50 game suspension.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php/25...d-for-50-Games
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      Could not have said any of this better, excellent analysis.
    1. deanlambrecht's Avatar
      deanlambrecht -
      How does the suspension affect his November 40-man status? Does this actually give us extra time?
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I had that story here when it broke, based on Rosario quotes in detail, even what he tested positive for on the title.

      And it was not marijuana or anything like that, so even those allegations (like the PED allegations) are wrong and unfair.

      It was prescription painkillers that he took before (with a prescription) per doctors' instructions for his broken jaw in Beloit. This time he took them without a prescription and without doctors' advise for pain in his elbow. Read it any way you want to, but it is different that buying coke, pot or crack at a street corner. He did not. I think that he learned a lesson to talk to team doctors for stuff like that.

      Also, this suspension might be a blessing in disguise because it will allow him to stay at EST at Fort Myers and work on his fielding at second base. His hitting timing might need some work but I do not see him spend any serious time at high A+. Likely goes to New Britain right away and potentially to Rochester after the draft. 50 days has him starting ball end of May. Not that long.

      Today the Twins signed his temporary replacement utility player Corey Wimberly who will likely go to New Britain.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by deanlambrecht View Post
      How does the suspension affect his November 40-man status? Does this actually give us extra time?
      No. He still needs to be added next offseason.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rosterman View Post
      Man, isn't that the second on the list...so he has 50 for taking pills due to an injury, announced in November, and this for recreational usage...so won't it be for 150?
      No, this is the officializing (if that were a word) of the report that came out in November. It was never official then. It was just reported in that Venezuelan newspaper.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      I had that story here when it broke, based on Rosario quotes in detail, even what he tested positive for on the title.

      And it was not marijuana or anything like that, so even those allegations (like the PED allegations) are wrong and unfair.

      It was prescription painkillers that he took before (with a prescription) per doctors' instructions for his broken jaw in Beloit. This time he took them without a prescription and without doctors' advise for pain in his elbow. Read it any way you want to, but it is different that buying coke, pot or crack at a street corner. He did not. I think that he learned a lesson to talk to team doctors for stuff like that.
      Here's the list of substances that constitute a "drug of abuse," under the program:


      1. Natural cannabinoids (e.g., THC, hashish and marijuana)
      2. Synthetic THC and cannabimimetics (e.g., K2 and Spice)
      3. Cocaine
      4. LSD
      5. Opiates (e.g., oxycodone, heroin, codeine, and morphine)
      6. MDMA (Ecstasy)
      7. GHB
      8. Phencyclidine (PCP)


      While we might understandably assume that the vast majority of 19-22 year old minor leaguers who fail a test for "drug of abuse" did so by testing positive for pot, the inclusion of a drug such as codeine could give credence to Rosario's initial claim that this was related to some sort of drug he took for elbow pain.

      On the other hand, this is his second failed test (no suspension for the first, 50 games for the 2nd, 100 for the 3rd), so I'm not sure you can completely trust what he originally claimed, either.

      Either way, whether it was pot, codeine or many of the other substances on that list, the only concern would be if he makes additional poor decisions and it ends up stunting his development and/or affecting potential trade value.

      Regardless of how you feel about whether some of the listed substances should be on the list, the players who have chosen to pursue a career in professional baseball in the US know the rules going in. Making one mistake is not a concern. Making a second mistake is a red flag for judgment. Making a third would be cause for legitimate concern.
    1. Monkeypaws's Avatar
      Monkeypaws -
      At least it's not a performance enhancer - his numbers are legit.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      The particulars aren't terribly important, IMO.

      I think the bigger lesson here is, once again, a reminder that penciling in minor leaguers as big league regulars at some point in the future is a risky way to build an MLB team. Not to say this is devastating for Rosario, or that he can't recover. Just further proof it is a long road between success in A ball and delivering winning performance levels in the show, and there are many and varied potholes to avoid on the way.

      Its one more reminder of why I believe you build winning MLB teams by first getting your hands on as much proven big league talent as possible, and then making space when a minor leaguer forces the issue, rather than keeping space open at the big league level in anticipation of needing it somewhere down the road.

      You can always deal with the "problem" of having too many good players.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Here's kind of a tough question: Which is better/worse? Getting busted for PEDs or Drugs of Abuse? (obviously neither is good)

      Consider:

      1.) PEDs - In theory, a minor league taking a PED is trying to get better.

      2.) Drug of Abuse - these are definitely not some attempt to get better.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      What it does mean is that if Polanco tears it up in Fort Myers, he could move ahead of Rosario on the orgainizational chart.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Here is an interesting article from BA on the top. What is interesting, is that they say that Rosario is the number 6 prospect in the Twins' organization. They have not released their rankings yet (coming in a couple weeks or so) but it looks like he went up one spot from the 2013 rankings (that can be found here.) With 3 graduates ahead of him from the 2013 rankings and likely Stewart and Pinto ahead of him, might be easy to guess the BA top ten a couple weeks before they are released...
    1. Tibs's Avatar
      Tibs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Here's kind of a tough question: Which is better/worse? Getting busted for PEDs or Drugs of Abuse? (obviously neither is good)

      Consider:

      1.) PEDs - In theory, a minor league taking a PED is trying to get better.

      2.) Drug of Abuse - these are definitely not some attempt to get better.
      I think him being caught with PEDs would be worse. It would make me question how much that affected his production and how good he actually is as a prospect.
    1. Old Twins Cap's Avatar
      Old Twins Cap -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
      Here's the list of substances that constitute a "drug of abuse," under the program:


      1. Natural cannabinoids (e.g., THC, hashish and marijuana)
      2. Synthetic THC and cannabimimetics (e.g., K2 and Spice)
      3. Cocaine
      4. LSD
      5. Opiates (e.g., oxycodone, heroin, codeine, and morphine)
      6. MDMA (Ecstasy)
      7. GHB
      8. Phencyclidine (PCP)


      While we might understandably assume that the vast majority of 19-22 year old minor leaguers who fail a test for "drug of abuse" did so by testing positive for pot, the inclusion of a drug such as codeine could give credence to Rosario's initial claim that this was related to some sort of drug he took for elbow pain.

      On the other hand, this is his second failed test (no suspension for the first, 50 games for the 2nd, 100 for the 3rd), so I'm not sure you can completely trust what he originally claimed, either.

      Either way, whether it was pot, codeine or many of the other substances on that list, the only concern would be if he makes additional poor decisions and it ends up stunting his development and/or affecting potential trade value.

      Regardless of how you feel about whether some of the listed substances should be on the list, the players who have chosen to pursue a career in professional baseball in the US know the rules going in. Making one mistake is not a concern. Making a second mistake is a red flag for judgment. Making a third would be cause for legitimate concern.
      Read the quotes in Phil Miller's Strib story and it sounds like, according to Ryan, that Rosario made some avoidable mistakes. So, we got a conundrum here: is it that an innocent ER was taking medicines to help with an aching jaw; or, is it, as TR suggests, that what we got on our hands is an irresponsible kid out of Puerto Rico who needs to be brought down a notch, kept an eye on and generally treated as a never do well.

      Read into this what you will, but I am seeing two very different takes on this story, and I'm surprised, NO, shocked, that Twins Daily staff are not making more of what TR is saying to the press. He's making ER look like a kid out of control. Why would he do that? It certainly does not help his trade value.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Not to be nit picky here, but I'd be willing to bet just about everyone on this forum has at one time taken a prescription pain killer that was left over from a previous script long after the original condition had ended. I know I've done it, and I'd guess most of us have too. I just don't get too worked up about this, and this is the type of thing that I really wonder exactly what the purpose of MLB's policy is.

      Either way, Eddie is going to miss 50 games due to this. That should be a good lesson to him.
    1. DocBauer's Avatar
      DocBauer -
      Sucks any way you look at it. Just wish we had better clarification. I've read where he took the same approved medication he took for his broken jaw, but for his elbow, but just didn't get medical clearance this time.

      if so, a silly and stupid mistake and he'll be back on track June 1st and ready to go at AA, or a brief stop at FtMyers first, with AAA still in sight, and possible MLB in Sept. The suspension shouldn't hold him back much considering overall ability.

      Now, if there is more to this, the a wakeup call s definitely in order!
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