Orioles minor league pitcher suspended 50 games

Parker, a 24-year-old reliever, is second in system suspended for part of 2010 season

February 04, 2010|By Dan Connolly | Baltimore Sun reporter

NEW YORK — Orioles minor league pitcher Brian Parker has been suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for testing positive for the second time, a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Major League Baseball and its teams do not announce what specific drug was found in violators' systems.

Parker, a 24-year-old, right-handed reliever, was 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 35 games at Single-A Frederick last year before pitching two games (0-0, 3.60 ERA) at Double-A Bowie. He is listed on the Bowie roster, and therefore his suspension will begin April 8 and be lifted in June. He likely will go to the organization's minor league facility in Sarasota when the suspension ends and then will be re-evaluated by the minor league staff at that time.

"Brian has been a good kid with us and we are just very disappointed that this has happened ," said David Stockstill, the Orioles' player development director.

Parker was a 19th-round draft pick in 2007 out of Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho. He is the second Orioles' minor leaguer to be suspended for part of the 2010 season. Catcher Freuny Parra, who the Orioles claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees' system in 2009 and played 12 games for the Single-A Gulf Coast League Orioles, was suspended 50 games for violating the drug policy earlier this offseason.

In other Orioles minor league news, the club signed corner infielder/outfielder Joel Guzman, once one of baseball's top prospects, to a minor league deal. He will not receive an invite to major league camp.

The former Los Angeles Dodgers' ballyhooed prospect was dealt to Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2006 as part of the Julio Lugo, trade-deadline deal.

He was with the Washington Nationals organization last year, batting a combined .268 with 12 homers at Double-A and Triple-A. Guzman, 25, batted .232 in 24 big league games with the Dodgers and Devil Rays.

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