The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Cleveland Indians pitcher Emmanuel Clase has received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The suspension is obviously going to begin once the 2020 season begins. Worse news than the suspension itself for Clase is that 80 games becomes a lot more significant than roughly half the season 80 out of 162 would have been under normal circumstances.
Clase appeared in 21 games for the Rangers last season, pitching to a 2.31 ERA in 23.1 innings (seriously, that's quite the coincidence). He struck out 21 against six walks. The 6-foot-2 righty also threw well in the Dominican Winter League. The young fireballer sat at the 99th percentile in pitch velocity last season, averaging over 99 miles per hour with his fastball and over 90 with his slider.
It hasn't been a great 2020 for Clase. In late February, news broke that. Now this.
Profiling as a reliever for most, Clase likely wasn't going to be in the Indians' rotation this season (Shane Bieber, Mike Clevinger, Carlos Carrasco, Zach Plesac and Aaron Civale figure to fill the five with young Logan Allen waiting in the wings), but he certainly looked ready to be a full-time member of the bullpen once he was recovered from the back injury. With Clase's stuff, a path to being the closer of the future is certainly there.
The prospects of that happening this season, however, are done with the news of Clase's suspension.