Mariners pitcher Héctor Santiago suspended 80 games for PEDs

Jul 29, 2021, 5:36 PM | Updated: 5:53 pm
Mariners Santiago...
Mariners pitcher Héctor Santiago has been suspended for the second time this season. (Getty)

Mariners pitcher Héctor Santiago’s return from suspension was short-lived. And his latest suspension is much more serious.

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Santiago has been suspended 80 games for testing positive for exogenous testosterone, a violation of MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The 33-year-old left-hander returned this week from a 10-game ban after umpires found a sticky substance on the inside of his glove following at outing in Chicago, which he and the team maintained was just rosin, which is legal, mixed with sweat.

While Santiago was out of action for his previous suspension, Seattle was not allowed to replace his spot on its 26-man roster due to rules for MLB’s crackdown on sticky substances used by pitchers. He remains the only pitcher ejected and suspended since MLB started checking pitches regularly for foreign substances earlier this season. The Mariners will be able to replace him while he is out for the 80-game suspension, however. The length of the suspension means Santiago will miss the remainder of the 2021 season.

Santiago released a statement, saying he would not appeal the suspension and explaining that he was recommended “hormonal replacement therapy” by a licensed physician in Puerto Rico in 2020, when he was not on an MLB roster, and did not consider that it could result in a violation of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. He also said in the statement that he alone is responsible for what he puts in his body and “was not careful.”

Santiago, a 10-year MLB veteran, started the season with Triple-A Tacoma but has spent most of the year in the Mariners’ bullpen. He gained some notoriety before the season because he sent out a résumé to all 30 major league clubs listing his accolades and desire to continue pitching. In 13 appearances for Seattle this season (12 in relief, one as a starter), he is 1-1 with a 3.42 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. He has pitched just once since his return from his previous suspension.

This is the third notable PED suspension for a Mariners player in recent memory. Superstar Robinson Canó received an 80-game ban in 2015, as did utility player Tim Beckham in 2019.

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