MILWAUKEE -- Brewers reliever J.C. Mejía became the second Milwaukee player in six weeks to be handed an 80-game suspension when Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday that he was being disciplined under the league’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Mejía tested positive for the synthetic steroid Stanozolol, MLB said. His suspension is effective immediately.
Like catcher Pedro Severino, who tested positive for the banned substance Clomiphene and was suspended just before Opening Day, Mejía was suspended without pay and will be ineligible for the next 80 regular season games plus the entire 2022 postseason should the Brewers get that far.
"We found out late [Monday] night but really can't say much," Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said. "We're supportive of Major League Baseball's program and beyond that, we really don't have much comment."
Said manager Craig Counsell: “These mistakes have consequences. It costs him a chance to establish himself as a Major League pitcher. He’s got to take this opportunity, use the time to make himself better and see what that brings in August [when] this suspension is completed.”
Mejía, 25, appeared in two games for the Brewers since a recent callup from Triple-A Nashville. He originally came to Milwaukee in a trade with Cleveland in November after he went 1-7 with an 8.25 ERA in 17 games (11 starts) in 2021.
To replace Mejía on the active roster, the Brewers purchased right-hander Trevor Kelley's contract from Nashville. He's the latest in a series of middle relievers to arrive and help the Brewers cover the losses of middle relievers like Jake Cousins (elbow), Jandel Gustave (hamstring) and now Mejía.
"We're being tested but that's not a surprise," Stearns said. "This is a segment of your team that gets tested every year. You always have injuries in your bullpen, you have underperformance in your bullpen. It's not surprising to have to go through a number of different players, especially in those last few spots of your pen. That trend often continues throughout much of the season and it may this year as well."