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Rays prospect Guerrieri suspended 50 games

Taylor Guerrieri's suspension starts at the beginning of the 2014 season.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Taylor Guerrieri's suspension starts at the beginning of the 2014 season.

Top pitching prospect Taylor Guerrieri on Friday became the third Rays first-round pick to be suspended for drug-related reasons in the past 18 months.

The Rays' top selection in 2011 was suspended 50 games without pay for a second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program for a drug of abuse, believed to be marijuana.

The 13 minor-leaguers the Rays have had suspended for drug-related reasons since the start of the 2012 season are the most of any big-league team.

Guerrieri, 20, already was sidelined for perhaps all of 2014 after having Tommy John elbow-ligament replacement surgery July 24. The suspension can be served while he is on the disabled list, so he will not miss additional time.

A team statement: "Taylor's actions are very disappointing. We will continue our work to educate him on the responsibilities he has not only to himself but to his teammates, his coaches, the Rays organization and our fans."

Infielder Tim Beckham, the Rays' top 2008 pick, was similarly suspended for a second drug-of-abuse violation in May 2012. Outfielder Josh Sale, their top 2010 selection, was suspended 50 games in August 2012 after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, then was further suspended indefinitely by the team in May for conduct detrimental to the organization.

Guerrieri sailed through the first half of his first full season at Class A Bowling Green, going 6-2 with a 2.01 ERA in 14 starts but was sidelined by elbow issues that led to surgery. Normal rehab and recovery is at least 12 months, so Guerrieri realistically won't pitch competitively until 2015.

Neither Guerrieri nor reps were available to comment.

White Sox net slugger: Cuban first baseman/DH Jose Abreu, who defected over the summer, reportedly agreed to a six-year, $68 million deal.

A-Rod case: Hearings on the grievance to overturn Yankees star Alex Rodriguez's 211-game suspension for violating the drug agreement recessed for a month.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Rays prospect Guerrieri suspended 50 games 10/18/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 18, 2013 11:10pm]

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