Houston Astros rookie pitcher David Paulino has been suspended 80 games without pay by Major League Baseball after testing positive for the performance-enhancing substance boldenone, a synthetic steroid.
The 23-year-old right-hander chose not to appeal the suspension and began serving his penalty Saturday when the Astros, who own MLB’s best record at 55-27, faced the New York Yankees.
“We are disappointed in the news regarding David Paulino,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “We hope this is a one-time incident and something David can learn from as he continues his career.”
Paulino was called upon from the developmental level on May 30 as a fill-in after injuries to Houston’s starting pitchers. He went 2-0 with a 6.52 earned-run average in six starts.
While he could return for the final game of the regular season, Paulino would not be eligible for the playoffs should Houston qualify.
“It’s very disappointing,” Astros manager A. J. Hinch said. “This impacts clubhouses around the game from time to time, but you never think it’s going to happen in your clubhouse.
“It’s disappointing because of all the good he’s done in his career, but it’s the nature of the business when you try to find a competitive edge. The program’s in place to catch these type of actions and, clearly, it worked.”
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