ATLANTA -- Minor League pitcher Billy Bullock has been suspended 50 games without pay following a second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Bullock was acquired from the Twins in exchange for Rule 5 Draft selection Scott Diamond just before the start of the 2011 season. The 24-year-old reliever has struggled during his first two seasons with the Braves. He compiled a 6.34 ERA in 40 combined appearances with Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett this past season. Control was an issue, as he recorded 67 strikeouts and issued 56 walks in 59 2/3 innings.
When the Twins selected Bullock in the second round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, there was some hope that he might develop into a quality setup man or closer at the Major League level. But those thoughts have faded, as the hard-throwing right-hander has issued 90 walks in 110 1/3 innings the past two seasons.
Bullock will serve the suspension at the start of the 2013 season.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com.