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  • Eddie Rosario Suspended for 50 Games

    The news came early on Saturday afternoon when USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweeted that Twins prospect Eddie Rosario would be suspended 100 games for testing positive for recreational drug usage. Twins media guru Dustin Morse quickly tweeted a response that the suspension was for 50 games. The penalty is 50 games because it was his second positive test.

    When the first reports of a possible suspension came out in November, it was believed that it was a performance-enhancing drug. At the time, Parker Hageman went to Google Translate to decipher an article from a Venezuelan newspaper:

    Here is the explanation from the article through Google translation:

    The General Manager of the Indians, Frankie Thon, explained how he heard the news. "Eddie Rosario called me three days ago, I had some bad news, which was positive in this test question that supposedly hurt his arm and took some pills and was positive to some kind of 'drug'. It has 50 sets of suspension and understood that he could not play Winter League, "said Thon.
    We don't know what the "recreational drug" was, though I can say that it likely comes as no surprise to many.

    That said, Twins fans need to take a step back and look at this from a larger perspective.

    1.) A 50 game suspension really only affects Rosario's development and timeline. In reality, he was going to start 2014 in New Britain with a chance to be called up later in the year to Rochester. He could have been a September call-up, if not sooner. A 50 game suspension likely means he will spend a few games in Fort Myers with the Miracle getting back into the swing of things before going to New Britain.

    2.) Rosario does need to be added to the Twins' 40 man roster next November (or be subject to the Rule 5 draft... where he would be taken). The 40 man roster is also something that is relevant to this story. You see, marijuana is not a drug that is tested for on players on the 40 man roster. Read into that as you may.

    3.) It may take a while to regain his credibility in the minds of some, but this (on its own) does not take anything away from Rosario's status as a prospect. This is clearly a mistake, and hopefully it will be no more than a hiccup on the road to the big leagues. Consider, Twins reliever Anthony Swarzak once was suspended 50 games for a "drug of abuse" too. He was given a second chance and he has made the most of it. Rosario can do the same thing.

    4.) Does it hurt his trade value? Perhaps, and maybe that's important if the Twins are trying to deal him (which we don't know). Again, those around the game know Rosario well. Remember, he is just 22 years old. He's got a long career in front of him.

    On a personal level, I know there are a lot of people who are and have been very concerned about him. As fans, let's see how he responds to this. He'll get another opportunity and hopefully he can make some changes. We hope this suspension is something that pushes that to happen. It is important to note that the next suspension, if there is one, would be 100 games.
    Comments 30 Comments
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Quote Originally Posted by Old Twins Cap View Post
      Read the quotes in Phil Miller's Strib story and it sounds like, according to Ryan, that Rosario made some avoidable mistakes. So, we got a conundrum here: is it that an innocent ER was taking medicines to help with an aching jaw; or, is it, as TR suggests, that what we got on our hands is an irresponsible kid out of Puerto Rico who needs to be brought down a notch, kept an eye on and generally treated as a never do well.

      Read into this what you will, but I am seeing two very different takes on this story, and I'm surprised, NO, shocked, that Twins Daily staff are not making more of what TR is saying to the press. He's making ER look like a kid out of control. Why would he do that? It certainly does not help his trade value.
      What am I missing? Here are the TR quotes that I see in Miller's blog post at the Strib:

      "It's disappointing, but now he has to pay the consequences and be accountable," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "Losing 50 games, that's a huge setback. That's a lot of development time, a lot of learning that he'll miss. It sets back his progression [toward] going up to the big leagues. But young people make mistakes, and hopefully he learns from it."

      How exactly do you interpret those statements as TR suggesting "that what we got on our hands is an irresponsible kid out of Puerto Rico who needs to be brought down a notch, kept an eye on and generally treated as a never do well."?

      Ryan stated the obvious. Rosario screwed up and losing 50 games of development time just as he's getting close to sniffing his big league debut is a big deal. He hopes Rosario learns from the mistake. I certainly don't see any subtext there indicating Ryan thinks Rosario is an irresponsible never do well.

      Did anyone think Ryan should brush it off as no big deal? What kind of message would that send to Rosario? "Oh hey, sure it's your 2nd time testing positive for this stuff, but don't worry about it, you'll be wearing a Twins uniform in no time."

      Ryan made exactly the kind of statement I would expect and I feel is appropriate. It's balanced and neither is too dismissive, nor unjustly harsh.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Jim, there's also this TR quote, which seems more relevant:
      "We'll keep him under our eye, whether it's at spring camp or somewhere else," Ryan said. "That's a sizable part of the season, but that's the price you pay for not being responsible enough to understand right from wrong."

      While TR does condemn Rosario's actions and indicates a kind of vigilance/probation period, I don't think TR vilifies Rosario as a never do well. Though, I doubt we'll see Rosario in a Twins uniform this year.
    1. wabene's Avatar
      wabene -
      [QUOTE=Jim Crikket;189313]Here's the list of substances that constitute a "drug of abuse," under the program:


      [LIST=1][*]Natural cannabinoids (e.g., THC, hashish and marijuana)[*]Synthetic THC and cannabimimetics (e.g., K2 and Spice)

      Let's please not list synthetic "marijuana" anywhere near the natural version. Synthetics are unproven chemicals made buy unregulated who knows who and marijuana has been used safely by humans for thousands of years. Longer than beer or wine.

      I agree with earlier post, kid had some left over pills and took them. Not smart considering what's at stake but doesn't seem like someone with an abuse problem.

      P.S. If Mary Jane is not tested on the 40 man does that mean our Boys Of Summer might be free to imbibe?
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      I don't think chances were slim that Rosario would be seen in a Twins uniform in 2014, anyway, but I agree that a 50 game suspension before he can even get on a minor league field reduces the slim chance to virtually none.

      wabene, I didn't choose the grouping, that's the list as grouped in the MLB drug testing program document. Obviously, there are widely ranging drugs in the list. I imagine it must have been an interesting set of discussions in the negotiation process to arrive at what drug went on what list.

      And yes, realistically, MLB players can light up pretty freely as long as they aren't stupid about it. Testing is for cause and consequences for failing a test may lead to mandatory treatment programs. Suspensions would only happen in the most extreme cases that seem like they'd be highly unlikely to ever occur. Maybe if a guy became such a stoner that he couldn't function or couldn't get through an inning on the bench without a bag of Doritos. Pretty safe to assume, I think, that a guy would be long gone from the league for performance reasons before he'd ever get deep enough in to the disciplinary process that would potentially result in a suspension for pot.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      One of my favorite things about baseball is the chance for redemption.

      When Miguel Cabrera screwed up the final weekend in 2009 and then had the infamous drunken on the highway incident right before spring training in 2011, I was glad he wasn't a Twin .... but he has redeemed himself both on the field and seemingly off the field (at least no more big reported incidents).

      It's easy to forget how young these kids are. When I think back to some of the things I was stupid enough to do in my early 20's, I think, "there but for the grace of God, go I...."

      I hope that Rosario learns a lesson from this and becomes one of the great redemption stories.
    1. Tibs's Avatar
      Tibs -
      What will Rosario do and where will he be during the suspension? Is he allowed to be around the team?
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tibs View Post
      What will Rosario do and where will he be during the suspension? Is he allowed to be around the team?
      He is not allowed to play in official games. He will go to Spring Training normally (this would likely be by the first week of March with all players not on the 40-man roster who did not receive an invitation to the MLB club; he might still receive an invitation, which means he would report on 2/22, but I doubt it.)

      Once ST breaks and teams go to their respective locations, he will stay for extended ST with several players who will be playing in Elizabethton and the GCL Twins this season. He will play games with them against the Red Sox and Orioles EST squads and scrimmage with them and also practice.

      50 games will be done by the end of May, and at that point he will join his club, whatever that might be.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Whatever. Lots of kids do stuff when they are in their early 20's. He learns from it, or he doesn't. Its all part of the learning process.

      I am most concerned about his production in Arizona and Winterball. His offseason line:
      .201 / .255 / .293
      Not good for a top prospect who played at 70 games at AA last year.
    1. Steve Penz's Avatar
      Steve Penz -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      Whatever. Lots of kids do stuff when they are in their early 20's. He learns from it, or he doesn't. Its all part of the learning process.

      I am most concerned about his production in Arizona and Winterball. His offseason line:
      .201 / .255 / .293
      Not good for a top prospect who played at 70 games at AA last year.

      He has hit at every level including in the WC last year. I don't think AZ should be a huge concern.
    1. RinaldiPhotos's Avatar
      RinaldiPhotos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Steve Penz View Post
      He has hit at every level including in the WC last year. I don't think AZ should be a huge concern.
      Fielding and finding him a position to play him at should be. He has been moved around from 2B- CF and DH interchangeably. Need to give him 1 spot and focus on that and worry about his future projectability if he ever gets close to the Majors.
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