NEW YORK (AP) — Top Boston Red Sox third base prospect Michael Chavis was suspended for 80 games under baseball’s minor league drug program after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
Chavis was selected with the 26th overall pick in the 2014 amateur draft and signed for a bonus of $1,870,500. He tested positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a steroid used by many East German athletes that no longer is sold commercially.
“Over the past several months, I have been searching for an answer as to how a prohibited substance I have never heard of, DHMCT, was detected in my urine during the offseason,” Chavis said in a statement. “It is a question that unfortunately has not been answered and I have run out of time for now to find an answer. As hopeless as this is for me, I am faced with the reality that maybe I never will. The only thing I do know is that I would never, and have never, purposely taken any prohibited substance in my entire life.”
Chavis initially filed an appeal to baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, then dropped it.
“I am now a part of the program that I have applauded (and will continue to champion) and that is utterly frustrating to me,” Chavis said.
“Equally frustrating is that everything I’ve accomplished in professional baseball will now be questioned even though I have never had a positive result over countless urine and blood tests before this of-season, including several tests during the past season.”
The 22-year-old hit .318 with 17 homers and 55 RBIs in 59 games last year for Salem of the Class A Carolina League, then was promoted in mid-June and batted .250 with 14 homers and 39 RBIs in 67 games for Portland of the Double-A Eastern League. He was a non-roster invitee to big league spring training and is on the Sea Dogs roster but did not play in Thursday’s season opener at Binghamton.
“I am faced with the battle of my life to win back fans and teammates that will be disappointed by this news,” he said. “I whole-heartedly accept that challenge.”
The Red Sox said in a statement “while we are disappointed by the news of this violation, we will look to provide the appropriate support to Michael.”
Cleveland left-hander Alsis Herrera was suspended for 80 games following a positive test for Stanozolol, Arizona right-hander Luis Diaz was banned 72 games for a positive test for Stanozolol, and San Francisco shortstop C.J. Hinojosa was penalized 50 games for a second positive test for a drug of abuse.
Herrera, 25, was 7-2 with a 3.66 ERA in 30 relief appearances last year for Lake County of the Class Midwest League and one each for Lynchburg of the Class A Carolina League and Akron of the Double-A Eastern League.
Hinojosa, 23, hit .265 with four homers and 35 RBIs last year for Richmond of the Double-A Eastern League and was assigned to San Jose of the Class A California League.
Diaz, 17, is with the rookie level Dominican Summer League Diamondbacks.
There have been 31 players suspended this year under the minor league drug program and six under the big league program: Houston pitcher Dean Deetz, Washington catcher Raudy Read, Pittsburgh pitcher Nik Turley, Kansas City outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, Toronto pitcher Thomas Pannone and Minnesota shortstop Jorge Polanco.
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