Phillies

Phillies

Updated: 8:09 p.m.

Phillies minor-league pitcher Alec Asher has been suspended 80 games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. 

Not good news for a pitcher trying to prove himself in a new organization. Asher, 24, posted a 9.31 ERA in seven starts with the Phillies last season after coming over from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade.

Asher added a two-seam fastball this offseason that resulted in bona fide improvements at Triple A, but those improvements could have also been aided by PEDs.

"The Phillies support Major League Baseball's Joint Prevention and Treatment Program and are disappointed to hear today's news of Alec's violation," the team said in a statement.

The news caught Phillies manager Pete Mackanin off guard.

"That was surprising," he said. "It's disappointing, too. You hate to see it happen. I don't know if he knew he was doing it or not, but it's disappointing. He was throwing the ball well."

Asher is on the DL for Lehigh Valley with a stress fracture in his lower right leg. The 6-foot-4 right-hander was 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA in four starts for the IronPigs.

Lehigh Valley manager Dave Brundage wasn't sure what to say.

"I probably shouldn't comment because I don't know," Brundage said (see story). "It's not my area. I just know I don't know the whole story. I don't know any of the story to tell you the truth. I'm as surprised as anybody.

 

"I guess you shouldn't be surprised nowadays, but anytime it's one of your guys as opposed to reading about somebody else's organization, there's disappointment."

Asher is not the first Phillie to be suspended for PEDs this season. Left-handed reliever Daniel Stumpf was banned for 80 games on April 14.