WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A second performance-enhancing drug suspension for Astros pitcher Francis Martes will cost him the entire 2020 season.
Major League Baseball suspended Martes 162 games without pay on Monday after he tested positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. He was suspended 80 games to start last year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2018.
“Throughout our system, players are educated through MLB’s Drug Prevention and Treatment Programs. It is disappointing when any player is in violation of the policies that are in place,” the Astros said in a statement. “We hope that Francis will learn from this experience moving forward. The Astros continue to fully support Major League Baseball’s Drug Prevention and Treatment Programs.”
Martes was in Major League camp this year but wasn’t going to make the Opening Day roster.
Acquired by the Marlins in a seven-player trade in 2014, Martes, 24, was the 29th-ranked prospect in 2016, per MLB Pipeline, and he made his Major League debut with Houston in 2017, posting a 5.80 ERA in 32 games (four starts). In 2016, he was an All-Star at Double-A Corpus Christi after going 9-6 with 131 strikeouts in 125 1/3 innings at only 20 years old, making him the youngest pitcher in the Texas League.
Martes began the 2018 season in the rotation at Triple-A Fresno but spent most of the year on the injured list before having Tommy John surgery in August. He was suspended 80 games by MLB last March after testing positive for clomiphene. Martes returned at the end of 2019 and pitched in three Minor League games, including with the Gulf Coast League Astros and one with Class A Quad Cities, posting a 6.75 ERA.