Saturday, June 25, 2022

Former All-Star pitcher Carlos Martinez suspended 80 games for positive drug test

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Former St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martínez has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for Ibutamoren, a banned performance-enhancing substance, MLB announced Friday. Martinez is currently a free agent and his suspension will begin when he signs with a team and is added to its MLB roster.

Martínez, 30, signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants in spring training, though he opted out of his deal at the end of camp, then signed with the Boston Red Sox soon thereafter. He allowed 10 runs in 4 1/3 innings with Boston’s Triple-A affiliate before being released earlier this month.

Earlier in his career Martínez was one of the top young pitchers in the sport, pitching to a 3.22 ERA in 747 innings as both a starter and reliever from 2015-19. He has been hampered by injuries quite a bit in recent years, however, and last season Martínez posted a 6.28 ERA in 16 starts and 82 1/3 innings with St. Louis.

Given his injuries and ineffectiveness the past few years, the looming suspension might be the end of Martínez’s MLB career. Even if he pitches well enough in the minors to impress a team, he’ll have to sit out 80 games before he can help at the big-league level.

The Cardinals declined their $17 million club option for Martínez, a two-time All-Star, after last season. He is the third player to be suspended for PEDs this year, joining catcher Pedro Severino and righty J.C. Mejía, both of the Milwaukee Brewers.

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