Minnesota Twins pitcher Ervin Santana has been suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol.
"I am very disappointed that I tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. I am frustrated that I can't pinpoint how the substance in question entered my body. I would never knowingly take anything illegal to enhance my performance. .that's just not me, never has been and never will. . .I would never put baseball, my family, or my country in a position where its integrity is jeopardized. I preach hard work and don't believe in shortcuts. . .I will be more vigilant about medications I take so I don't make another mistake. . ."
Santana signed a four-year contract worth $55,000,000 with the Twins over the winter. He will not be paid during the suspension period. Santana pitched 19 innings for the Twins in 2015 spring training, posting a 1.89 ERA with an impressive 12/3 K/BB ratio.
Veteran right-hander Mike Pelfrey is expected to take Santana's place in the starting rotation for the first half of the season. Rookie right-handers Trevor May, Alex Meyer, are additional options for consideration should Pelfrey fail.
Last month we examined Santana's career and concluded, based on historical parallels with similar pitchers, that the Twins could reasonably expect to get two solid years out of him but that the risk of sudden aging or injury would increase after that point. His career has been somewhat up-and-down but in general he has been a solid pitcher. As with all PED cases we'll need to see how Santana performs once he returns to action and revise expectations from that point.