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Two Minor League players suspended

Two Minor League pitchers -- Mitchell Taylor and Matthew Rusch -- were sanctioned for 50 games Friday for a second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Taylor, a former seventh-round draftee of the Toronto organization, will serve his suspension at the start of the season for Bluefield in the rookie-level Appalachian League. Rusch, a Minor League free agent, will serve his suspension immediately upon signing with a big league organization.

Both Taylor, just 19 years old, and Rusch, 28, tested positive for a drug of abuse for the second time. Taylor, a left-hander, went 4-2 with a 4.23 ERA for Bluefield last season in his professional debut. Rusch pitched in an independent league and worked in four games for Double-A Portland last year.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for