Players suspended after positive tests
NEW YORK -- Houston Astros pitcher Gabriel Garcia and Seattle Mariners pitcher Daniel Christensen have been suspended for 50 games each following positive tests under baseball's minor league drug program.
Garcia, a 20-year-old left-hander, tested positive for metabolites of Nandrolone, Major League Baseball said Wednesday. He is 0-4 with a 7.91 ERA in 10 starts at Greeneville of the Appalachian Rookie League.
Christensen, a 26-year-old left-hander, tested positive for the second time for a drug of abuse. He is 1-6 with a 4.16 ERA in 10 starts and 14 relief appearances for West Tennessee of the Double-A Eastern League.
The suspensions began Wednesday.
Garcia is the second player in the Astros system to receive a 50-game suspension this month. Outfielder Mitch Einertson, who plays for the team's Double-A affiliate in Corpus Christi, was suspended on Aug. 7 after a second violation for a drug of abuse.
"We try to educate the players as best we can about avoiding putting themselves in those positions," Astros general manager Ed Wade said. "What we as an industry have to get to is a point of zero players testing positive for any kind of a substance, basically having zero tolerance for it."
Wade said he had just watched Garcia pitch in recent days.
"He walked off the mound in the fifth or sixth inning and he's not going to see the mound for another 50 games," Wade said. "No matter what the circumstances are, it's a shame that something like that would occur. That's why we have to continue to educate the kids and make sure they know that they can't walk down to the corner store, or go into some health-food outfit, and think they're getting something that isn't going to get them in trouble."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press