Stanley suspended after positive PED test
CINCINNATI -- Catcher Cody Stanley's season came to an abrupt end on Saturday when Major League Baseball announced that he had been suspended 80 games for testing positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
It marked the second suspension of Stanley's professional career, as he served a 50-game suspension in 2012 after a positive test for methylhexaneamine and tamoxifen. That suspension came during Spring Training, a year after Stanley played 101 games with the organization's Class A affiliate.
In that case, the positive test was traced back to a weight-training product that Stanley had purchased. The ingredients he tested positive for were unmarked on the supplement, but Stanley owned up to the punishment and apologized in person to the organization's other minor leaguers for his misstep.
Stanley had left the team by the time Saturday's suspension came down, though in a conversation with manager Mike Matheny on Friday, Stanley insisted he did not know what triggered this second positive test. Matheny said he was inclined to give the 26-year-old catcher the benefit of the doubt.
"He's trying to figure out exactly what happened," Matheny said. "I would just want to put myself in the position of, 'OK, what if you hadn't done anything and all of a sudden something came up and there is nothing you can do?' It's the exact same conversation I had with Cody. But we've heard some very, very convincing stories from people and most haven't been true, right? So you're not going to have any sympathy from anybody."
Matheny added that there is testing being done on the positive sample to determine if a combination of the anti-inflammatory medication Stanley was taking while injured earlier this year and a nutritional supplement could have created the compound that was discovered.
The positive test came from a sample Stanley provided while in Triple-A, before his Sept. 1 promotion to the big leagues. Stanley had three hits (all in pinch-hit spots) in seven at-bats since that callup.
Stanley will be removed from the team's 40-man roster while he serves his suspension, which will include the first 59 games of the 2016 season. He does not draw a salary during the time away, either. The organization then has to make the decision whether to bring him back for a second, second chance.
"The organization is going to have to take a stance there," Matheny said. "I get that, and he gets that, too. We had that conversation, too. Sometimes something that seems like the worst thing could end up being a good thing. I get it where we stand. We have a high level of expectation, and with that previous experience, this is hard to let completely go.
"I know [general manager John Mozeliak] and everybody in this organization cares very much for each of these kids, but we also have to look out for the club. Once again, it's a sad deal."