Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher Suspended For PEDs

A positive test for performance-enhancing drugs has cost a 21-year-old his entire 2023 season. The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball has handed down a full season-long suspension to Tampa Bay Rays minor league pitcher Israel Mateo. 

The suspension is for 55 games, without pay, which is the length of the rookie-level Florida Complex League season that Mateo was currently set to pitch in. 

The 21-year-old was dinged for testing positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance. 

Mateo is a Dominican-born pitcher who spent the 2022 season also in the Florida Complex League for Tampa, where he posted a 2.84 ERA in 10 appearances out of the bullpen. He struck out 11.4 batters per nine innings.

Five players have already been disciplined under the minor league drug program this year; there were 50 in total last year. 

In the majors, the most notable victim was Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres, who will finish his 80-game suspension on April 20th. 

Photo: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports