Pirates reliever Turley suspended 80 games

January 27th, 2018

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates left-hander Nik Turley on Saturday received an 80-game suspension without pay for a violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Turley tested positive for Ipamorelin, a performance-enhancing substance that stimulates the release of growth hormone. His suspension will begin at the start of the coming season. According to MLB's Joint Drug Agreement, Turley will be placed immediately on the restricted list and therefore does not occupy a spot on Pittsburgh's previously full 40-man roster.

The Pirates claimed Turley off waivers from the Twins on Nov. 6. He did not figure to make the Bucs' Opening Day roster but likely would have served as left-handed relief depth in Triple-A Indianapolis.

The 28-year-old went a combined 5-5 with a 2.05 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 92 innings over 23 outings (13 starts) for Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Rochester last year. Selected by the Yankees in the 50th round of the 2008 Draft, Turley made his Major League debut with the Twins last June against the Giants in his home state of California. In 10 appearances over three stints with Minnesota, Turley posted an 11.21 ERA in 17 2/3 innings.

Turley is the second reliever in Pittsburgh's organization to receive a suspension this offseason. Last week, right-hander Montana DuRapau, who is on the Pirates' Triple-A roster, was banned for 50 games without pay following a second positive test for a drug of abuse.

With Turley suspended, the Pirates have only three left-handed pitchers on their 40-man roster: closer , reliever Jack Leathersich and starter . The club has suggested that Brault, who dominated in Triple-A last season, could secure a spot in the Opening Day bullpen if he does not make the rotation.