Minor league pitchers suspended for drugs of abuse

Published Feb. 22, 2019 5:59 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) — Los Angeles Angels pitcher Bo Tucker and free agent pitcher Joshua Payne have been suspended for 50 games each under baseball's minor league drug program following second positive tests for drugs of abuse.

Tucker, a 23-year-old left-hander, was 0-2 with an 18.69 ERA in three starts and one relief appearance last year for the Arizona Rookie League Angels. He was on the roster of rookie-level Orem of the Pioneer League. A 12th-round selection in the 2016 amateur draft, Tucker signed for a $100,000 bonus.

Payne, a 24-year-old right-hander, was released Tuesday by the New York Mets' organization. He was 4-3 with a 4.39 ERA last year for Columbia of the Class A South Carolina League. A 22nd-round draft pick in 2017, Payne was signed for a $10,000 bonus.

The commissioner's office announced the discipline Friday.

Seven players have been suspended this year under the minor league program, plus Kansas City pitcher Eric Skoglund under the major league program. There were 72 suspensions last year, plus 10 under the big league drug program.