A Philadelphia Phillies relief pitchers was suspended for 80 games by MLB for PED use.
Lefty reliever Daniel Stumpf was suspended today by Major League Baseball after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug (PED) known as dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, according to a report from Philly.com’s Matt Gelb.
According to the website juicedmuscle.com, dehydrochlormethyltestosterone is an anabolic steroid considered a Schedule III controlled substance here in the United States. It “gained notoriety as a result of the East German doping scandals“, which revealed that the drug “produced dramatic increases in speed and strength.”
The website goes on to report that “the steroid is no longer legitimately produced, and appears to be available only as an illicitly-prepared product on the black market.” Whether Stumpf will be subject to any type of criminal investigation has yet to be determined.
Stumpf has been suspended without pay beginning immediately. Since he makes the Major League minimum of $507,000 per year, this suspension will end up costing him more than $220,000 in salary.
That is a big hit for a player such as Stumpf, who was trying to establish himself in the big leagues for the first time. The Phillies made him their 2nd round pick in the Rule 5 Draft back in December after he was left unprotected by the Kansas City Royals organization.
The 25-year old Stumpf was originally a 9th round pick by Kansas City in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of San Jacinto College in Houston, Texas. He pitched in the Royals’ system for four years, rising to AA in the 2015 season. He has also pitched in the Arizona Fall League and the Puerto Rican Winter League over the last two off-seasons respectively.
In this year’s Grapefruit League during spring training down in Florida, Stumpf led all Phillies’ relievers by tossing 12.1 innings, and led the entire staff by appearing in 10 games. He allowed 13 hits, and produced a 14/4 K:BB ratio, making the team ahead of a number of more experienced arms.
He had an inauspicious big league debut for the Phils on April 7th at Cincinnati, facing just three batters and retiring none in the Reds’ big 8-run 5th inning. He walked Scott Schebler and then gave up a two-run homer to Eugenio Suarez. After following that by walking Jay Bruce, his debut was over.
Stumpf followed that poor first outing up with a pair of successful appearances. On both April 8th and 9th against the New York Mets, he was called in to face a left-handed batter, and retired both. He was credited with a Hold in the latter appearance.
The Phillies have called up another lefty, Elvis Araujo, to take the place of Stumpf on the active roster. Araujo has pitched 1.1 innings thus far in one appearance with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the club’s AAA affiliates. He went 2-1 in 2015 over 40 games with the Phillies, allowing 29 hits in 34.2 innings pitched with a 34/19 K:BB ratio.
The Phillies issued a statement per Gelb which said that they were “disappointed” in the Stumpf test results and subsequent suspension. How this will ultimately affect any decision as to whether to retain his services once the suspension has been complete is yet to be determined.