Major League Baseball has added insult to injury for Jenrry Mejia.
The Mets closer, who was already sidelined with posterior inflammation in his right elbow, was hit with an 80-game ban by MLB Saturday for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Mejia tested positive for Stanozolol, a synthetic anabolic steroid.
Mejia is just the latest MLB player to test positive for the steroid in recent weeks. Arodys Vizcaino was suspended on April 2 for testing positive for the drug, and Ervin Santana was busted for the same thing a day later.
"I know the rules are the rules and I will accept my punishment, but I can honestly say I have no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system," Mejia said in a statement. "I have been through a lot in my young career and missed time due to injury. I have worked way too hard to come back and get to where I am, so I would never knowingly put anything in my body that I thought could hold me out further."
Mejia won't appeal the 80-game suspension.
Mets captain and leader David Wright didn't mince words in regards to his teammate.
“It’s obviously disappointing. Not only do you cost yourself 80 games and don’t get paid, but you’re hurting everybody in here. You’re letting down your teammates and I think that probably means just as much, if not more, than hurting yourself,” Wright said. “As much as it hurts, as much as we love Jenrry as a teammate, you make mistakes, you need to be punished. Once Jenrry serves his punishment and comes back, we’ll welcome him and do whatever we can to make him feel like he’s part of this team. For right now, he messed up and he needs to be punished.”
In Mejia's absence, Jeurys Familia has served as the team's closer. That will now be a longer-term solution, although Bobby Parnell is still expected back sometime in May. With Mejia out half of the year, the Mets could also look harder at Rafael Soriano now, too. But for now, Familia is the guy to own in all leagues.
It was a bad day for a couple players' knees as well.
In Cleveland, Yan Gomes sustained a sprained right knee when Rajai Davis slid into his back foot during Saturday's game. Gomes couldn't put any weight on the leg, being helped off the field, and after the game Indians manager Terry Francona said he would have to talk with management about potential roster moves.
It seems as though a trip to the disabled list for Gomes could be part of those moves. If Gomes is sidelined, Roberto Perez will likely get the bulk of the playing time behind the dish for the Tribe.
Casey McGehee also suffered a knee sprain, although his was to his left knee. McGehee sprained the knee as he was leaving the batter's box in the first inning. The 32-year-old took a few steps before crumpling to the ground unable to go any further. He was replaced by Joaquin Arias at third base. The team was still awaiting the results from an MRI on McGehee's knee Saturday night, after which they'll make a decision about a DL stint.
The Giants can ill afford any more injuries to regulars, let alone their middle-of-the-order hitters. The team is already without Hunter Pence for a few more weeks, and Brandon Belt has been sidelined in recent days with a groin strain. McGehee landing on the DL would leave the club conspicuously thin at the corners.
Archie Bradley wasted little time introducing himself to his NL West rivals.
The 22-year-old dominated the Dodgers on Saturday, limiting his division mates to one hit over six shutout innings in his MLB debut. Bradley did issue four walks but struck out six on the afternoon.
To deliver such a performance in his first major league appearance is one thing, but to do it against one of the toughest lineups in the league -- and with the best pitcher in the game, Clayton Kershaw, opposing him -- made the feat that much more impressive. And his Diamondbacks teammates made it stand up, giving Bradley his first major league win in the 6-0 victory.
Perhaps it should have been expected from a guy who has long been considered a top prospect. Bradley has appeared on top-100 lists since being drafted seventh overall in the 2011 MLB Draft. Coming into this season, Bradley was considered the No. 11 overall prospect in baseball by Baseball Prospectus.
The Diamondbacks thought so highly of him that they dealt starter Trevor Cahill to the Braves on April 2, just days before the start of the season, to make room for Bradley in the rotation. Bradley did his part to force their hand this spring, posting a 1.61 ERA over 22 1/3 Cactus League innings.
It likely won't always be so rosy for the right-hander -- the Diamondbacks, while better than last season, aren't slated to win many games, and he'll likely experience some growing pains in his first go-round in the majors -- but his upside makes him a must-own in long-term formats. After Saturday's showing, mixed league owners wouldn't be faulted for taking a flyer on him, either.
National League Quick Hits: Juan Uribe is day-to-day with a tight left hamstring. With Justin Turner ailing as well, Alex Guerrero appears set to finally get his shot as an everyday player, if a short-lived one. Maybe Guerrero can take the opportunity and run with it ... The aforementioned Belt, who hasn't played since Tuesday due to the groin strain, was available as a pinch hitter Saturday. The Giants got blown out, though, so Giants manager Bruce Bochy didn't deploy Belt in the loss ... Clayton Kershaw had a decidedly un-Kershaw-like performance Saturday. The southpaw allowed 10 hits and six runs -- five earned -- over 6 1/3 innings in a loss to the Diamondbacks. Kershaw is 0-1 with a 5.84 ERA and 1.70 WHIP through two starts, a trend we don't expect to last beyond Saturday evening ... Odubel Herrera hit a walk-off double in the 10th inning to give the Phillies a win over the Nationals on Saturday. Herrera has been sidelined with a foot injury, but the Rule 5 pick has a good shot at sticking with the Phils all season if healthy ... Jim Johnson earned the save over the Mets on Saturday, pitching a scoreless ninth inning. Despite getting the nod, Jason Grilli remains the closer to own in Atlanta. Saturday was strictly an off day for Grilli after he threw 28 pitches Friday ... Jimmy Nelson single-handedly made sure the Brewers would win their first game of the season Saturday, tossing seven shutout innings against the Pirates. Nelson struck out nine while allowing just two hits on the day.
American League Quick Hits: Victor Martinez left Saturday's game against the Indians after feeling a pinch in the back of his left leg. The injury initially appeared worse than it was, and the designated hitter has been dubbed day-to-day for the time being ... Chris Archer quieted the Marlins' bats Saturday, allowing just one hit over seven shutout innings. Archer struck out five while walking just one to earn his first win of the year ... Ubaldo Jimenez also turned in an impressive performance, limiting the Blue Jays to one hit while striking out eight over seven scoreless innings. The Orioles caught some grief, including in these parts, for the decision to keep Ubaldo in the rotation over Kevin Gausman, but the decision appears to have been a sound one after one outing ... Ian Kinsler continued his hot hitting Saturday, going 4-for-5 with two RBI in the Tigers' fifth-straight win. Kinsler is 10-for-22 (.455) with eight runs scored and seven RBI on the young season ... Joe Kelly made some waves this offseason when he said he's got his sights set on a Cy Young Award this season -- he was joking, I think -- but he backed it up with his debut Saturday. The right-hander struck out eight, allowing a lone run over seven innings in a win over the Yankees ... David Robertson earned his first save as a member of the White Sox, striking out the side in a perfect ninth inning. Robertson appears to be past whatever forearm malady plagued him in spring.