Pirates Release 2014 Draft Pick Michael Clemens

According to the MiLB.com transaction page for the Appalachian League, the Pittsburgh Pirates have released minor league pitcher Michael Clemens. He was the 17th round draft pick in 2014 and was pitching well for Bristol until he suspended in mid-August for testing positive for HGH. Under the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, he was suspended for 68 games, which means he would have missed almost all of the 2015 season. Clemens had a 1.00 ERA in 13 relief appearances for Bristol, striking out 20 batters in 18 innings. The 21-year-old will need to sign with another team before he can serve out the remainder of his suspension.

  • Good riddance to a cheat.

  • Not that Appalachian League relievers are anything to fret over losing, but doesn’t it seem a little drastic to just release the guy? Or is it industry standard to do things like this?

    • I think if he was a higher draft pick, he would have been kept around, but it’s basically a lost year in 2015. He won’t be able to return to the field until late August, and then you’re talking about a 22-year-old reliever at the lowest levels, basically starting over and he has a suspension on his short resume. The odds were stacked against him to begin with. A lot of teams will release marginal players that get suspended, using them as a teaching moment.

  • “Million dollar arm; five cent head.” -Crash Davis from “Bull Durham