HOUSTON (AP) — Astros pitcher David Paulino received an 80-game suspension without pay Saturday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
Major League Baseball announced the rookie right-hander tested positive for Boldenone. His penalty began with Saturday night’s game against the New York Yankees.
“He feels bad about it and feels bad that he’s put the organization in this position,” Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “He’ll learn from it and I’m sure David’s going to have a long and fruitful major league career. … He’s got a lot of talent.”
Paulino was called up from the minors May 30 to fill a hole in Houston’s injury-ravaged rotation. He is 2-0 with a 6.52 ERA in six starts.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch said he spoke to the 23-year-old pitcher and had a meeting with the team to give players the news.
“It’s disappointing because of all the good that he’s done in his career to get to this point to be effective. But it’s the nature of the business sometimes when you try to find a competitive edge,” Hinch said. “The program is in place to catch these types of actions and it worked.”
Despite all the injuries to key pitchers, Houston began the day with the best record in the majors at 54-27. Paulino could return for the final game of the regular season, but is ineligible for the postseason this year. He loses $266,585 of his salary, which is at a $536,100 rate for the season while in the major leagues.
Luhnow doesn’t expect Paulino back in 2017.
“It’s a shame because he was off to a good start with us this year and proved that he could pitch and help at this level, and now he’s not able to do that this year or in the postseason,” Luhnow said. “So we’ll have to wait until next year.”
Paulino made his big league debut in 2016, going 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA in one start and two relief appearances.
“We hope this is a one-time incident and something David can learn from as he continues his career,” Luhnow said in a statement.