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September 2018
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‘MLB’ Articles

MLB suspends two minor leagues for violations of drug policies



The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that two Minor League players have been suspended following their violations of the Minor League Drug and Treatment Program.

Minnesota Twins Minor League pitcher Alex Banks, who is currently on the roster of the rookie-level Dominican Summer League Twins, has received a 72-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Boston Red Sox Minor League catcher Alberto Schmidt, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Lowell Spinners of the New York-Penn League, has received a 76-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.


MLB, Latin American Trainers announce partnership to combat use of performancing enhancing drugs by amateur players



The Office of the Commissioner announced on recently the Trainer Partnership Program, a new program in collaboration with Latin American player trainers aimed at combatting the use of performance-enhancing substances by amateur players and improving compliance with Major League Baseball rules.

Under the new initiative, participating trainers will enroll their players in MLB’s drug testing program, submit themselves and their employees to background checks, keep updated records of amateur players in their care, and comply with MLB rules regarding international player signings. MLB will provide partner trainers with enhanced scouting opportunities and promote the use of partner trainers to players and their families. MLB also will work closely with partner trainers to jointly address issues in Latin American amateur baseball.

The program is voluntary and will begin with pilot programs in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. Already, 46 trainers – all of whom came highly recommended by MLB Clubs — have agreed to participate in the pilot programs. Attached is a list of partner trainers who have committed to the Trainer Partnership Program from each country. MLB plans to expand the opportunity to additional trainers in both countries in the coming months.

Drug testing for the Trainer Partnership Program began this week and MLB will be holding its first showcase as part of the Trainer Partnership Program on September 18-20 at Temistocles Metz Stadium in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. Only players from participating programs will be eligible to participate in this event and representatives from all MLB Clubs are expected to attend. MLB is planning a similar event for Venezuelan partner trainers in the coming months.

Morgan Sword, MLB’s Senior Vice President, League Economics & Operations, said: “This new partnership program is an important step forward for our industry and fully supported by our Clubs and the international scouting directors. Independent trainers are an essential part of the player development system and we look forward to working with our partner trainers who are fully committed to developing their players in a safe and healthy environment.”

Trainer | Program | Location
Arias, Alfredo | Arias Baseball Academy | San Pedro de Macoris
Batista, Amauris | Chapita Academy | Santiago
Carmona, John | JC Academy | Santo Domingo East
Encarnacion, Richard | Encarnacion Development System | Santo Domingo East
Espinal, Freddy | Quality Baseball Academy | Santo Domingo East
Ferreras, Franklin | Franklin Ferreras Academy | Santo Domingo North
Fontana, Eddy | J&E Academy | Santiago
Garcia, Fausto | Fausto Garcia Academy | Santiago
Genao, Laurentino | LGS Academy | Santo Domingo North
Genao, Ramon | Papiro All-Star | Santo Domingo East
Guerrero, Wilton | Los Guerreros Academy | Nizao
Guzman, Carlos | CG Academy | Boca Chica
Herrera, Josue | HPP Academy | Santo Domingo East
Herrera, Juan (Mon) | D’Mon Baseball Academy | Bani
Irrizarry, Christian | API Academy | Santo Domingo East
Lezan, Pedro | Bartolo Colon Academy | Puerto Plata
Marrero, Aldo | Aldo Marrero Academy | Santiago
Monero, Valentin | Rinocerontes de Valentin Monero | Boca Chica
Nina, Amauris | Amauris Nina Academy | Santo Domingo East
Pena, Nolan | Nogae Baseball Academy | San Pedro de Macoris
Perez, Angel | Angel Perez Academy | San Pedro de Macoris
Ramos, Jaime | Jaime Ramos Academy | San Cristobal
Rodriguez, Francisco Javier | Alianza Academy | Santo Domingo East
Valdez, William | WV Academy | Santiago
Valera, Raul (Banana) | Banana Baseball Academy | Santo Domingo West
Trainer | Program | Location
Bernal, Renny | Magallanes | Valencia
Blassini, Jose | Hermanos Blassini | Valencia
Concepcion Jr., David | Academia David Concepcion | Cagua
De Pablos, Kander | KPL Baseball Academy | Valencia
Gomez, Prospero | PDW | La Guaira
Grasso, Victor | Prospectos Elite | Maracaibo
Guillen, Carlos | Carlos Alfonso Guillen | Maracay
Hernandez, Ramon | RH | Maracay
Izturis, Cesar | Academia de Besbol Maicer y Cesar Izturis | Barquisimeto
Mendez, Guido | Occidental Deportiva | Maracaibo
Mendez, Yassir | 4Pro International Baseball Academy | Valencia
Moscatel, Kevin | Caribes Top Prospect | Puerto La Cruz
Ocanto, Johan | Academia ABAR | Caracas
Olivo, Carlos | OL Baseball | Valencia
Ortiz, Francisco | Just Prospect | Puerto La Cruz
Perez, Robert | Academia Robert Perez | Barquisimeto
Quiroz, Alexis | AQ | Maracay
Salazar, Alexis | BC All Star Academy | Barquisimeto
Suarez, Denni | DS Baseball | Puerto La Cruz
Vahlis, Roberto | Academia Roberto Vahlis | Margarita
Veliz, Andres | Bucaneros | Maracay


MLB announces 2019 schedule for Spring Training



Major League Baseball announced recently that 2019 Spring Training presented by Camping World will officially begin with the start of the Cactus League schedule when the Seattle Mariners visit the Oakland Athletics at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, Arizona on Thursday, February 21st. Grapefruit League games will begin on Friday, February 22nd when the Tampa Bay Rays host the Philadelphia Phillies at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida. The first full slate of games involving all 30 Major League Clubs will take place on Saturday, February 23rd.

Notable games being played during 2019 Spring Training presented by Camping World include:

Split squads of the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks playing two games in Monterrey, Mexico on Saturday, March 9th and Sunday, March 10th;

The Atlanta Braves playing their final home game of the spring on Sunday, March 24th at the Club’s new Spring Training facility in North Port, Florida, which will officially open for Spring Training 2020;

The Boston Red Sox traveling to Mesa, Arizona to play two games against the Chicago Cubs at Sloan Park on March 25th-26th;

The Colorado Rockies traveling to Lee County, Florida to play one game against the Minnesota Twins at CenturyLink Sports Complex on March 26th; and

Select exhibition games at Major League and Minor League ballparks being played from March 24th-26th.

The complete 2019 Spring Training schedule, subject to change, is available at

Read more: MLB



Before trading deadline deal to Brewers, Jonathan Schoop recent AL Player of the Week with Orioles



Jonathan Schoop running bases with Orioles 2017 photo By Keith Allison - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, https

Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop has been named the American League Player of the Week presented by W.B. Mason for the period ending July 29th.

Schoop has since been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers right before the trading deadline of July 30.

In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Jonathan Schoop will be awarded a watch courtesy of Rockwell.

Other noteworthy performances last week included third baseman Matt Chapman (.462, 9 R, 7 XBH, 6 RBI), outfielder Khris Davis (6 R, 8 H, 5 HR, 13 RBI) and closer Blake Treinen (3 G, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA) of the surging Oakland Athletics; starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 CG, 1 SHO) and infielder Neil Walker (.579, 4 R, 11 H, .600 OBP) of the New York Yankees; All-Star backstop Salvador Perez (.414, 6 R, 4 HR, 8 RBI) of the Kansas City Royals; Francisco Arcia, who posted a Major League-record 10 RBI across his first two career games, and All-Star Mike Trout (.368, 7 R, 5 XBH, 7 RBI) of the Los Angeles Angels; and infielder Lourdes Gurriel (.483, 14 H, 5 XBH, 7 RBI) of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Schoop hit .379 (11-for-29) with six runs scored, a double, five home runs and 13 RBI over six games played to earn his second career AL Player of the Week Award, previously winning last season for the period ending July 23rd. Among qualified AL leaders, Jonathan finished the week tied for first in home runs, RBI and total bases (27); third in slugging percentage (.931); tied for third in extra-base hits (6); tied for fifth in hits; and tied for ninth in runs scored. This is Baltimore’s second weekly award of the 2018 season, following his former teammate Manny Machado (April 22nd).

Schoop, who signed with the Orioles as a free agent in 2008, enters play today in the midst of a career-best 12-game hitting streak dating back to July 13th. On Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, the 2017 AL All-Star went 3-for-6 with two runs scored, a homer and three RBI to lead the Orioles to a 15-5 victory. With the round-tripper, Schoop became the seventh second baseman (eighth time) since at least 1908 to homer in five consecutive games, joining Brian Dozier (September 2-6, 2016), Chase Utley (May 28-June 2, 2008; April 17-21, 2008), Jose Castillo (May 26-31, 2006), Robby Thompson (August 20-24, 1993), and Hall of Famers Ryne Sandberg (August 7-11, 1989) and Rogers Hornsby (June 2-9, 1928). In addition, the Curaçao native became the first second baseman, and 17th player overall, to notch a multi-hit game with a home run in five consecutive games. All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies was the last to accomplish the feat, doing so from September 1-4, 2015. The 26-year-old Schoop is enjoying his best month of the 2018 season, batting .360 (36-for-100) with 14 runs scored, seven doubles, nine home runs and 19 RBI across 24 games.


Brewers Christian Yelich recent NL Player of the Week



Christian Yelich

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich has been named the National League Player of the Week presented by W.B. Mason for the period ending July 29th.

2018 T-Mobile Home Run Derby semifinalist Rhys Hoskins (.345, 7 R, 5 HR, 9 RBI) of the Philadelphia Phillies also posted a strong week. The 25-year-old logged an eight-game hitting streak from July 22nd-28th, tallying seven homers and 13 RBI during the impressive stretch. Hoskins also matched his career high with an extra-base hit in six consecutive games from July 22nd-26th (also: August 23-28, 2017). Other noteworthy performances last week included Rhys’ teammate Maikel Franco (.345, 5 R, 6 XBH, 5 RBI); outfielder Gregory Polanco (.370, 5 R, 4 XBH, 3 SB) and starting pitcher Trevor Williams (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 CG, 1 SHO) of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Christian’s teammate Jhoulys Chacín (2-0, 1.42 ERA, 12.2 IP, 15 SO); and St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Daniel Poncedeleon, who pitched seven no-hit innings in his Major League debut on July 23rd after coming back from a career-threatening injury. Daniel required brain surgery after being struck in the head by a line drive at Triple-A last May.

In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Christian Yelich will be awarded a watch courtesy of Rockwell.

Yelich batted .517 (15-for-29) with eight runs scored, three doubles, a triple, three home runs and 10 RBI across seven games played to claim his first career NL Player of the Week Award. Among his NL counterparts, Christian finished his strong week at the plate first in batting average, on-base percentage (.548), slugging percentage (1.000), runs scored, RBI and total bases (29); tied for first in extra-base hits (7) and triples; tied for fifth in home runs; and tied for eighth in doubles. This is Milwaukee’s first weekly award of the 2018 season, and the first since All-Star third baseman Aramis Ramirez for the period ending July 5, 2015.

Yelich, who was an All-Star in his first year with Milwaukee, enters play today in the midst of a 13-game hitting streak dating back to July 14th, the longest by a Brewers player since Gerardo Parra’s 14-game streak from July 11-30, 2015. The 26-year-old has hit safely in 18 of his previous 19 contests, posting a slash line of .451/.483/.756 to go along with 16 runs scored, 37 hits, nine doubles, two triples, four home runs and 22 RBI during the torrid stretch. Over the course of his impressive run, the 23rd overall selection in the 2010 MLB Draft (by Miami) has logged 14 multi-hit efforts, including five three-hit games. In addition, Yelich has recorded at least two hits and a run scored in each of his previous six contests. The California native became the sixth player in franchise history to post such a streak, joining Parra (July 1-6, 2015), Hall of Famer Paul Molitor (August 6-12, 1991), Rob Deer (April 9-14, 1987), Ben Oglivie (June 22-29, 1979) and Tommy Harper (May 13-25, 1970). Enjoying his best month of the season thus far, the 2016 NL Silver Slugger Award winner has batted .406 (39-for-96) with 18 runs scored, 10 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 23 RBI over 24 games. The left-handed-hitting Yelich is on pace to become just the second player in team history to post a batting average of .400-or-better with at least 16 extra-base hits in a single calendar month, joining Hall of Famer Robin Yount (July 1982).



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