Pitching prospect Andrew Case, who hails from New Brunswick, was suspended 50 games not for failing a drug test but failing to take a drug test, according to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi. No details has emerged about why or how the drug test was missed.
#BlueJays minor-league RHP Andrew Case suspended 50 games for failing to take a drug test. On roster of single-A Vancouver Canadians.— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) February 29, 2016
Case, 23, was signed as an amateur free agent in 2013 after he participated in Roberto Alomar's inaugural Tournament 12 event at Rogers Centre. He spent 2014 with the Vancouver Canadians, the first half of 2015 with the Lansing Lugnuts, and the second half back in Vancouver.
Because he ended 2015 with the Canadians, who play in the short-season Northwest League, Case's suspension won't begin until the league's season begins in mid-June.
@Minor_Leaguer Nope. He starts serving when the NWL season begins.— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) February 29, 2016
There is an exception clause for that, according to the Major League Baseball's Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program document that allows for a suspended minor league player to be promoted from a short-season to full-season club as long as the Commissioner finds it justifiable from a player performance and development standpoint. A case can be made for--uhhhh--Case, as he had logged significant time in full-season Lansing last season and did well in his second stint with the Canadians,
but the Blue Jays might think that it is just not worth it to go through all the trouble for someone of Case's calibre.
Case will be allowed to participate in minor league spring training camp as well as in extended spring training, but must sit out for 50 games. Since Northwest League teams only play around 75 games a season, Case's 2016 is effectively lost--a tough result for a 23-year-old in short-season ball.
According to Alexis Brudnicki, who writes for the Canadian Baseball Network, Case has been promoted to the full0-season Lugnuts, which will allow him to return to action by late May.
Because the Blue Jays invoked the exception clause 8.J.1 of the minor league drug prevention & treatment program, Case will not be allowed to be demoted to a short-season club this season.