Blue Jays: Pitching Prospect Suspended 80 Games

DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Thomas Pannone
DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Thomas Pannone /

Major League Baseball announced the suspension of Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospect Thomas Pannone earlier today. Pannone will be suspended for 80 games for testing positive for PEDs.

Thomas Pannone tested positive for the anabolic steroid dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, or DHCMT. The suspension will start at the opening of the 2018 season.

The drug that Pannone tested positive for is the same drug that Chris Colabello was suspended for prior to the 2016 Blue Jays season. Much like Colabello, Pannone claims to not know how it got into his system.

Pannone recently released a statement via his Twitter account affirming his innocence. The young pitcher even explained a process he completed with Major League Baseball of undergoing a three-hour polygraph test under the administration of a former FBI agent.

This suspension from the MLB is another in a long list of suspended Blue Jays prospects for PEDs. Earlier this offseason, the Blue Jays conducted an investigation into their own organization after six minor league players tested positive for PEDs.

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Thomas Pannone was drafted in the ninth round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Players Draft out of the College of Southern Nevada.

The Jays acquired Pannone, along with infielder Samad Taylor, in a 2017 trade-deadline deal with Cleveland for Joe Smith who was sent in return for both of these young prospects.

Pannone was a promising Blue Jays prospect ranked 17th in Jays Journal’s top 30 Blue Jays Prospect list and could have potentially forced the conversation for a major league call-up had he gotten off to a quick start in Buffalo. That appears all for not at this stage of the game in light of the most recent news.

Across two leagues and two organizations last year, Pannone pitched to a 9-3 record with a great 2.36 ERA. Appearing in 25 starts, Pannone pitched 144.2 IP with 149 strikeouts to just 36 walks.

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Pannone received this 80-game suspension as part of Major League Baseball’s new policy on PEDs. If caught a second time, he will serve a 162-game suspension.