Colon’s suspension comes only a week after San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera received a 50 game suspension for testing positive for testosterone.
In 24 starts for the Athletics in 2012, the 39-year-old Colon went 10-9 with a respectable 3.43 ERA on a team considered the biggest surprise in MLB. The Athletics are currently ½ game back of the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL Wild Card lead and five games back of the Texas Rangers in the AL West. With the return of Brett Anderson to the starting rotation, I don’t think the Athletics will be harmed by Colon’s absence although it helps to have a veteran starting pitcher at the end of the rotation who can log innings. His ten wins were the most Colon has had in a season since winning the AL Cy Young Award in 2005 when he won 21 games with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Colon has pitched with the Cleveland Indians, Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox (twice), Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees prior to signing with Oakland as a free agent in the offseason.
Prior to the positive tests for Colon and Cabrera, three other players also received 50 game suspensions this season – San Francisco Giants reliever Guillermo Mota, Philadelphia Phillies infielder Freddy Galvis and outfielder Marlon Byrd who had stints with both the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox in 2012. Interestingly, four of the five suspended players hail from Latin America (Colon, Cabrera and Mota were born in the Dominican Republic while Galvis is a native of Venezuela). I don’t know if this is purely coincidental or if the Latin American players simply haven’t yet been deterred by MLB and the MLBPA’s drug policy. It’s just what jumps out at me.