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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Twins’ Michael Pineda gets 60-game drug suspension

Michael Pineda pine tar hand

The Minnesota Twins’ playoff push took a significant hit Saturday when a key starting pitcher was busted for use of a banned drug.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, pitcher Michael Pineda has been suspended for 60 games for a drug violation. The suspension was reduced on appeal from 80 games, as he was able to make the case that the banned diuretic was not meant to mask PED use.

The appeal doesn’t do much good for Minnesota now. He won’t pitch again in 2019, and that includes any playoff games the Twins might play. The 30-year-old had made 26 starts for Minnesota this season, going 11-5 with a 4.01 ERA. His previous brushes with illegal behavior were generally with regard to overly blatant use of pine tar while with the New York Yankees.

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