Blue Jay’s Top Position Player Prospect Suspended 80 Games After MLB Debut

Blue Jays prospect Orelvis Martinez

Infielder Orelvis Martínez, the Toronto Blue Jays‘ top position player prospect, has been suspended for 80 games without pay after violating Major League Baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy. ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported the suspension. Martínez, 22, had just been called up from Triple-A Buffalo for his major league debut Friday. Playing second base, he went 1-for-3 in Toronto’s 7–1 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

Martinez Tested Positive For Clomiphene

Martínez tested positive for Clomiphene, a fertility drug on MLB’s banned substance list, according to Passan. In a statement issued by the MLB Players Association, Martínez said he’s been trying to start a family with his girlfriend and was prescribed a medication that contained Clomiphene at a fertility clinic in the Dominican Republic.

“We wanted to keep this matter private, even within our family, and trusted the doctor who assured us this treatment did not include performance-enhancing drugs,” Martinez said in the statement. “Therefore, I made the mistake of not disclosing this to my team or the MLBPA. With that said, I took full responsibility for my negligence and accepted my suspension.”

The Blue Jays also released a statement regarding the suspension. “The Blue Jays fully support Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and strongly believe in keeping the game on a level playing field,” the club said.

“We were both surprised and disappointed to learn of Orelvis Martinez’s suspension. We will do everything we can to ensure Orelvis has learned from this mistake.”

Martinez Will be Eligible to Return in 2024

With Toronto already having played 76 games, Martínez will be eligible to return from suspension during the season’s final week. The Blue Jays hold a 35-41 record and sit last in the AL East, trailing the division-leading New York Yankees by 15 1/2 games.

Before his call-up, Martínez had been performing well with Triple-A Buffalo, boasting a .260 average and an .867 OPS in 63 games. He also recorded 14 doubles, 16 home runs, and 46 RBI. Martínez, who signed with Toronto as an international free agent in 2018, is ranked by as the top-hitting prospect in the Blue Jays organization. Over his five seasons in the minor leagues, he has compiled a .242 average with a .833 OPS, hitting 109 homers and driving in 335 runs.

Martínez signed with the Blue Jays for $3.5 million in 2018, quickly emerging as one of the premier power-hitting prospects in the minor leagues. Due to the suspension, he will lose about half his salary. His contract stipulates a salary of $740,000 in the major leagues and $120,600 in the minors at the minimum level.

This suspension marks Martínez as the eighth player penalized for performance-enhancing drugs this year and the second under the major league program. Earlier, Noelvi Marte, a 22-year-old infielder, and the Cincinnati Reds’ top prospect received an 80-game suspension following a positive test for Boldenone.

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