Rhyne Hughes, career minor leaguer with 14 big league games on his resume, was hit with his second PED suspension, this time, a 100-game ban. Hughes is currently a free agent, and his suspension begins once he signs with a team.
Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com reported Hughes received the ban after testing positive for exogenous testosterone. This is his second suspension as he served a 50-game ban after testing positive for an amphetamine in 2011. This comes after a 2013 season when Hughes only managed to play 53 games at Double-A in the New York Mets organization due to shoulder trouble. He posted an OPS of .827, well better than his career .796 average, although, it was his age 29 season, and 5th season in Double-A.
Hughes was originally signed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, after being selected in the 8th round of the 2004 draft. In 2009 he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles, where he eventually made his big league debut in 2010. The first baseman recorded just ten hits in 47 big league at-bats, while striking out 19 times.
Hughes joins fellow former big leaguer, Ronny Paulino, who received a 100-game ban on February 12th, along with 12 other minor leaugers that have received a drug related suspension this year, and the 2014 season hasn’t even started yet.
After the biogenesis mess from last season, and the 14 minor league suspensions leading into this season, it is clear baseball still has a long way to go before the “steroid era” is fully in the past, but seeing players being popped for using banned substances gives hope that baseball is moving in the right direction.