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Beckham suspended for rest of Mariner tenure

Another season, another Mariner infielder suspended for PED use. It was announced this morning that Tim Beckham has been caught violating the MLB/MLBPA drug policy. He has been suspended for 80 games, or the rest of this season plus 32 games to start next season, assuming he gets a contract for 2020.

Beckham appealed the suspension, but his appeal was denied almost immediately, suggesting little to no ambiguity in the evidence of his PED use.

The performance-enhancing drug that Beckham was allegedly using is called Stanozolol, which is a synthetic anabolic steroid and a Schedule III controlled substance under federal regulations. It is the same drug that Canadian Olympic runner Ben Johnson was stripped of his gold medal for using in 1988 and has been well known and off-limits for decades.

Beckham has not copped to knowingly using Stanozolol, instead blaming a "trusted source" of his that provided a "product" that "was tainted," according to his public statement.

A former number-one draft pick (by the Rays in 2008) and the AL player of the week early this season—he posted a line of .435/.519/.913 over the Mariners' first six games—Beckham had shown a significant power spike this year. His career high for home runs in a season is 22, as an everyday player in 2017, averaging a home run every 26 plate appearances (3.8% of the time). This season he hit a longball in 4.6% of his plate appearances, or once per 22 PAs. That's not much different, but last year as an Oriole in Baltimore—one of the most homer-friendly ballparks in the big leagues—he went deep once every 33½ PAs and before 2017 once every 32 PAs. Make of that what you will.

The extra power didn't help his batting average or on-base skills much, as he finishes his abbreviated campaign with a rather sad line of .237/.293/.461.

One wonders if Beckham's failed drug test was known by some at the trading deadline, as he was thought to be a prime candidate for a July trade but no rumors of his involvement in a deal ever came up.

No move has yet been announced regarding Beckham's replacement on the Mariners' 25-man active roster.

Below is Beckham's statement in full. 

"I was recently notified that I had tested positive for Stanozolol, a prohibited substance under the [sic] MLB's joint drug agreement. I was given the product from a trusted source who had advised me that it was safe to take.

"Regrettably, the product was tainted. I exercised my rights under the Joint Drug Agreement and presented my case to an independent arbitrator. While I am disappointed in the result, I respect the ruling and understand my responsibilities under the Joint Drug Agreement.

"I accept full responsibility for putting myself in this position. I sincerely apologize to the Mariners' organization, the fans, my teammates, and my family for this mistake. I look forward to resuming my career once my suspension has been served."


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