According to Adam Berry from MLB.com, right-handed pitcher Montana DuRapau has been suspended 50 games due to his second positive test for a drug of abuse. As we mentioned here last week, DuRapau was given an invitation to Major League Spring Training this year. No word on whether he will still be an invite, but the suspension wouldn’t affect his spring status. It would begin on Opening Day of the minor league season and carry through until May 30th (or longer if any games are postponed before that point).
Per MLB: Minor League pitcher Montana DuRapau, currently on the Pirates' Triple-A roster, received a 50-game suspension without pay following a second positive test for a drug of abuse.
— Adam Berry (@adamdberry) January 19, 2018
DuRapau finished the 2017 season in Indianapolis, where he had 3.24 ERA in 15 appearances, with 23 strikeouts and an 0.78 WHIP in 16.2 innings. The 25-year-old reliever was a 32nd round draft pick in 2014. He worked his way up to Altoona in just his first full season after the draft, then remained at the level until this past July when he received his promotion to Triple-A.
While he wasn’t going into Spring Training with a chance to make the Pirates, it was an impressive jump for someone who was a late round pick and had been used as a bullpen extra during the last two years of Spring Training. That’s a role that usually signals a roster filler because those pitchers can go days without pitching, then fill any role when they are used, which is not something that prospects do during Spring Training.
So in that sense, this suspension is a real setback because he just broke out from an undesirable role to getting a chance to show his stuff in big league camp. The missed time also won’t help, as Indianapolis looks to have a crowded bullpen this season and he could get passed on the depth chart. DuRapau will be down at Pirate City in Extended Spring Training games during his suspension.