Pierce makes third Cardinals suspension since August

With all the recent focus on the “Biogenesis 13,” and specifically the St. Louis Cardinals’ signing of shortstop Jhonny Peralta, many tend to forget or at least overlook that performance enhancing drug-related suspensions continue to be relatively common in the minor leagues.

As the 50-game suspension of State College pitcher Andrew Pierce was announced on Wednesday, it marked a rough stretch of recent PED suspensions for the Cardinals. Pierce will be serving the third penalty handed down to an organization player in the last five months. This follows a period of almost a year between suspensions – from September 2012 until August 2013.

Overall, the calendar year 2013 was not overly high on the suspension front, though. Just two were busted, after five Cardinals were caught during 2012. In fact, last year tied 2011 for the fewest positive tests among Cardinals since 2007. To help keep matters in context, at any given time, there can be as many as 250 or more minor leaguers under contract. For those wondering about timing, players are randomly tested year-round.

It is also interesting to note that of the eight players to have been caught over the last 24 months, only three are still with the organization today – catcher Cody Stanley, infielder Brett Wiley and Pierce. The latter two will sit out the first 50 games of the upcoming 2014 season.

Two other current Cardinals had failed tests before joining the organization. In those cases, the players had to serve out their 50 games immediately upon signing with St. Louis. Shortstop Diory Paulino (Red Sox) and pitcher Estarlin Arias (Nationals) completed their suspensions last season and are active on the Dominican Summer League Cardinals roster.

The complete list of 30 Cardinals minor league drug-related suspensions back to 2005 follows.

Date Player Name Substance Length
4/4/2005 Sal Frisella not announced 15 games
5/13/2005 Jeremy Cummings not announced 15 games
4/18/2006 Yonathan Sivira not announced 50 games
8/2/2006 Marcos Chavez not announced 50 games
8/2/2006 Jonathan Gonzalez not announced 50 games
2/20/2008 Scott Vander Weg not announced 50 games
7/29/2008 Braulin Beltre Boldenone 50 games
7/29/2008 Andres Beras Boldenone 50 games
7/29/2008 Yedilson Pena Boldenone 50 games
8/25/2008 Juan Castillo # Stanozolol 50 games
12/1/2008 Wilfred Vivas Methandienone 50 games
4/9/2009 Deryk Hooker Drug of Abuse 50 games
5/15/2009 Kenny Maiques Drug of Abuse 50 games
6/23/2009 Dail Villanueva Nandrolone 50 games
10/6/2009 Alan Ahmady Amphetamine 50 games
12/4/2009 Jefferson Segundo Stanozolol 50 games
12/21/2009 Tyler Bighames Drug of Abuse 50 games
8/31/2010 Jean Carlos De La Cruz Boldenone 50 games
8/31/2010 Delvi Rodriguez Boldenone 50 games
9/30/2010 Lainer Bueno Clenbuterol 50 games
6/24/2011 Andrew Moss Drostanolone 50 games
11/1/2011 Reggie Williams Methylhexaneamine 50 games
3/6/2012 Erick Hurtado* Stanozolol 50 games
3/27/2012 Cody Stanley # Methylhexaneamine, Tamoxifen 50 games
4/19/2012 Jose Pasen Nandrolone 50 games
6/25/2012 Michael Swinson Methylhexaneamine 50 games
9/6/2012 Alan Ahmady Drug of Abuse 50 games
8/22/2013 Yoenny Gonzalez not announced 50 games
9/4/2013 Brett Wiley # Amphetamine 50 games
1/22/2014 Andrew Pierce # Amphetamine 50 games
#  = active in org
* = signing voided

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