Word is slowly starting to trickle out about a 50-game suspension that will be handed down to Twins second base prospect Eddie Rosario. He apparently told the manager of his winter league squad that he wouldn't be able to play because of his pending suspension. The official suspension won't be announced until the league can resolve an issue on their end.
Rosario is a converted outfield who by most accounts is top ten prospect in the organization. His quick wrists have helped him to become one of the best hitting prospects in the organization. In a recent poll I took of seven different Twins bloggers for the Twin Minor League Handbook, he ranked as the second best hitting talent in the team's farm system.
This past season Rosario encountered some rough patches at Double-A while dealing with some injury related concerns. According to the reports, he took some pills during his rehab that lead to his positive test. If this is the case, it is a tough pill to swallow for the organization.
Rosario positioned himself to make his big league debut in 2014. With a pending 50-game suspension, there is a good chance this won't happen next year. It's certainly a tough blow for a player on the rise.
When it comes down to it, there is going to be some finger pointing that occurs in the next couple of weeks. Who is to blame for the suspension of one of the team's best prospects? Here are some of the men that should shoulder the load.
Word of Advice: "Don't put anything in your body. Especially strange pills."
Most of the blame should be put here. There can be a lot of pressure on athletes to perform at the highest level. This can be especially tough when minor league players are trying to return from injury and make their way towards the big leagues. Unfortunately, this can mean taking some shortcuts and it sounds like Rosario made a mistake. At this point in his career, it's a big mistake because it will impact his debut and the point when he will be eligible for arbitration. Don't do drugs, kids.
The Training Staff
Word of Advice: "Keep a close eye on the organization's star prospects."
Obviously, the training staff can't watch over a player 24-hours a day but it sounds like Rosario's incident happened while he was trying to recover from injury. Maybe it's a case where the training staff can continue to remind players of what they can and can't put into their bodies. Team's put a lot of money into their younger players and it's important to keep these men on the field and working towards the big leagues.
The Coaching Staff
Word of Advice: "Continue to monitor players as they come back from injury"
As outsiders, we don't know what goes on behind closed doors. New Britain wasn't in the playoff hunt so there wouldn't have been pressure to get back on the field to help the team. There can be a lot of pressure on managers to take care of the day-to-day on-field tasks. Even Ron Gardenhire gave up on giving injury up-dates this past season and he left this to the men in the front office. With everything on the plate of the coaching staff, it would be easy to delegate one of the coaches to be in-charge of checking in with injured players.
The Front Office
Word of Advice: "Makes plans to stop this sort of thing from happening in the future"
Accidents are going to happen and the world of drug testing is far from a perfect science. There can still be things done within the farm system of an organization to teach players about the right way to take care of their bodies. The overall theme should be to not ingest any unknown substance. Posters should be hung up in locker rooms and lectures should be given to players throughout the season. By having an organization take the right approach, this sort of thing doesn't have to happen again.