Indians reliever Emmanuel Clase has received an 80-game suspension, per a league announcement. He tested positive for banned PED boldenone.
Clase, acquired in the trade that sent Corey Kluber to the Rangers, had been rehabbing a teres major strain this spring. Precisely when the positive test was recorded isn’t known, though it certainly may have taken place prior to the shutdown of play. Clase would have had an opportunity to appeal the suspension before it was announced.
The Indians were disappointed to see Clase go down in camp. But it seemed he’d have a chance to accomplish much of his rehab work while the season was on pause. That’ll still be the case, but he’ll now be sidelined regardless when the 2020 campaign gets underway. The suspension will begin once the season gets underway, even if Clase is still rehabbing.
It obviously hasn’t been the smoothest start to Clase’s tenure with the Cleveland organization. The club pinned big hopes to the 22-year-old hurler, who was the chief asset brought back in a deal for one of the team’s best-known players.
Clase wasn’t a widely known player entering the 2019 season. But he zipped up the Texas farm system ladder and opened eyes with his MLB debut at just 21 years of age. Featuring a triple-digit heater, Clase turned in a 2.31 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, and a hefty 60.6% groundball rate over 23 1/3 innings.
There is quite a silver lining here for the Indians — and a big dent to Clase’s long-term earnings outlook. He had only accrued 59 days of service in 2019 and will not be able to add enough days in 2020 to reach a full season of MLB service (172 days). Though he could ultimately qualify for arbitration in 2023 as a Super Two player, his anticipated free agent clock will end up moving back a year.