It was announced on Tuesday that Milwaukee Brewers pitcher J.C. Mejía was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug. He will not be paid for the duration of his suspension which is effective immediately.
“We found out late last night but really can’t say much,” said Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns. “We’re supportive of Major League Baseball‘s program and beyond that, we really don’t have much comment.”
Brewers pitcher J.C. Mejía has received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension is effective immediately.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) May 17, 2022
Stanozolol is a synthetic steroid that is derived from testosterone. The drug, known better for its brand name Winstrol, is commonly used to treat hereditary angioedema. The condition causes episodes of swelling in several parts of the body. Stanozolol reduces the frequency and severity of the attacks.
Mejía will not only miss 80 games with the Brewers due to the suspension but he will also be excluded from the entire 2022 postseason. That is if his team is successful enough to play until then.
“These are unfortunate situations,” said Stearns. “I think every situation is unique but it’s certainly unfortunate for the team and it’s unfortunate [for] the individual when this happens.”
Mejía’s career in big league baseball is still short, having debuted just last season on May 21 with the Cleveland Indians. He was traded in November to the Brewers with an undisclosed player. The pitcher was traded after having a record of 1-7 and 8.25 ERA within 17 games and 11 starts. He has only played two games for the Brewers.
“These mistakes have consequences,” said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. “It costs him a chance to establish himself as a major-league pitcher. He’s got to take this opportunity, use the time to make himself better, and see what that brings in August, July, or whenever this suspension is completed.”
Following the pitcher’s suspension, the Brewers immediately hired Trevor Kelley from the Nashville Sounds to fill the empty spot. The new middle reliever will not only replace Mejía but also players who are injured, including Jake Cousins and Jandel Gustave.
“We’re being tested but that’s not a surprise,” said Stearns. “This is a segment of your team that gets tested every year. You always have injuries in your bullpen, you have underperformance in your bullpen. It’s not surprising to have to go through a number of different players, especially in those last few spots of your pen. That trend often continues throughout much of the season and it may this year as well.”
This is the second time a Milwaukee player is suspended for the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Brewers catcher Pedro Severino was suspended earlier in April after testing positive for clomiphene.
Severino was suspended for 80 games. His suspension started immediately just before Opening Day, only six weeks before Mejía’s.
“The biggest hit has come kind of in this area of the team,” said Counsell. “We’ve lost depth in this area, for sure. That’s going to mean that other guys get opportunities. The (Class AAA) Nashville club is pitching well in general, so there’s a lot of people who are off to good starts there and pitching well. That bodes well to mitigate that.”