Chris Colabello is set to miss half the baseball season after he was suspended Friday by Major League Baseball.
Colabello was suspended 80 games for testing positive last month for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid. He began serving his suspension Friday.
“The only thing I know is that I would never compromise the integrity of the game of baseball. I love this game too much,” Colabello said in a statement. “I hope that before anyone passes judgment on me they can take a look at the man that I am, and everything that I have done to get to where I am in my career.”
Colabello said he doesn't know how the steroid got into his system. Even when the 32-year-old is able to return to the Blue Jays, his suspension for PEDs will preclude him from postseason competition.
It's a disappointing new entry in Colabello's story. The veteran toiled in independent ball for years before getting a shot with the Twins. He had a few nice moments with the Twins during the 2013 season but had trouble finding work after the season. His best offer turned out to be from Korea's LG Giants.
But Colabello turned down the $1 million offer to try to make it in MLB. And, more than a year later, Colabello finally did find major league success, batting .321/.367/.520 with 15 homers and 54 RBI in 101 games with the Jays last season.
Without Colabello, the Jays will lean more on Justin Smoak at first base. Edwin Encarnacion may also see some more time at the position, and a guy like Jesus Montero, who was batting .316/.344/.456 through 15 games with Triple-A Buffalo heading into Friday's action, could also come into play at some point.
The regular season is off and running, so be sure to keep refreshing Rotoworld's constantly-updating player news page for all the latest. And while you're at it, follow @Rotoworld_BB and @nate_grimm if you are on Twitter.
Rays Prospect Snell Gets The Call
The first top prospect to get the call to the majors will happen Saturday.
In fact, the move was made official after Friday's game, when the Rays promoted prospect Blake Snell ahead of Saturday's spot start against the Yankees. Snell will make the start in place of Erasmo Ramirez, who was used in relief Thursday against the Red Sox.
Snell, 23, gets the call after posting a 2.51 with 21 strikeouts over 14 1/3 innings at Triple-A Durham thus far this season. The southpaw burst onto the prospect scene with a dominant 2015 season, finishing with a 1.41 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 163 strikeouts in 134 innings across three levels.
There's reason to be excited about Snell's arrival, but expectations should be tempered, both for Saturday and for Snell's 2016 future. Making a start in Yankee Stadium against a good Yankees lineup isn't the best debut scenario for a young pitcher, even one with the stuff of Snell, but it wouldn't be a surprise if he performs well, either.
Bigger picture, Snell is likely going to be a one-and-done for the time being. Before Friday's game, Rays manager Kevin Cash said Snell would be sent back to Triple-A Durham. He's a name to remember down the road -- even just a few months from now -- but it doesn't appear as if he'll get to unpack his bags just yet.
Brantley Close To Activation
It seems as though Michael Brantley will be back before the end of April after all.
Brantley, who was the center of much speculation this past winter as to when he might come back after November surgery to repair a torn labrum, could be back with the Indians as early as Monday, Indians general manager Mike Chernoff said Friday.
"He's getting much, much closer ... He wanted to play a week ago, so the feedback has been great," Chernoff said. "It's a matter of making sure we don't rush things and that they've built up the volume to be able to handle it up here."
Brantley has been playing in minor league rehab games in recent days, batting .357/.438/.500 over five games, and the big test will be playing back-to-back games. He is scheduled to play consecutive games on Friday and Saturday, after which point he will be re-evaluated.
"I think he's getting there," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We definitely want to see him go back-to-back just to be fair to him. Then we'll sit and talk to him."
Brantley is a special hitter who shouldn't need much time to get reacclimated before returning to punishing American League pitching. If he's in the Indians' lineup, he should be in fantasy lineups on Monday as well.
National League Quick Hits: Ben Revere (oblique) could swing a bat from the left side on Friday. Revere has also resumed sprinting as he makes his way back from a strained right oblique. He's aiming to be activated by mid-May ... Billy Hamilton (thumb) remained out of the Reds' lineup Friday. He's missed the last two starts due to a bruised left thumb but should have a shot to return sometime over the weekend ... MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports that Cuban second baseman Jose Miguel Fernandez will hold a showcase on May 3-4 in the Dominican Republic. Fernandez has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball and is eligible to sign, so it might not be long after the showcase that the 27-year-old is scooped up by someone and, before long, slotted into their everyday lineup ... Heyman reports that Major League Baseball "appears to be in the final stages" regarding the impending suspension of Jose Reyes. Reyes "is expected to receive a significant ban" for his alleged domestic violence incident ... Jayson Werth (hamstring) returned to the Nationals' lineup and brought the lumber with him, hitting his third home run of the season ... Getting a rare start at third base, Javier Baez made the most of his opportunity. The infielder homered and scored three runs, and he's now hitting .353 with a .941 OPS in an admittedly microscopic 17 at-bat sample size. Even so, with Jorge Soler struggling, Baez could find more playing time at the hot corner with Kris Bryant sliding to left field in the coming days.
American League Quick Hits: Lance McCullers (shoulder) could be cleared to resume his rehab assignment if he feels fine Saturday following a successful bullpen session Friday. If he feels good Saturday, he should make a start early next week and shouldn't need too many before rejoining the Astros' rotation ... Carlos Santana and his career .364 on-base percentage occupied the leadoff spot in Friday's game, and it took him six pitches to make an impact. Santana hit a leadoff homer and also doubled in the Indians' 2-1 win ... Felix Hernandez missed his scheduled start Friday due to illness. Hisashi Iwakuma started in his place on regular rest, and King Felix is expected to start for the Mariners on Saturday instead ... Jose Quintana fired seven scoreless innings in a win over the Rangers. The oft-overlooked southpaw is now 2-1 with a 1.82 ERA on the year ... Feeling refreshed, Jacoby Ellsbury executed a straight steal of home in Friday's win. The 32-year-old now has five steals this month ... Chris Young earned his first win of the season in style, striking out 10 Orioles over six innings. That included fanning young Joey Rickard four times and striking out slugger Chris Davis thrice ... The Blue Jays signed Michael Bourn to a minor league contract. Bourn got approximately $48 million less from the Jays than he got from the Braves but is expected to have roughly the same on-field impact at the major league level, which is to say none.