Less than 24 hours after clinching the North Division first half title in the Texas League, the NW Arkansas Naturals received some bad news.
All-Star DH/outfielder Mike Bianucci was suspended 80 games for testing positive for growth hormone Peptide 2 (reported by Jeffrey Flanagan). Guessing he won’t be playing in the Texas League All-Star game on June 30th (he was voted in as a starter).
I am guessing that his playing days in the Royals organization are over because the Naturals have just 75 regular season games remaining.
Bianucci was hitting .278 with 12 home runs and 34 RBIs in 58 games with NWA. His 12 homers ranked him second in the TL (tied with teammate Balbino Fuenmayor). The Royals signed him as a minor league free agent this offseason.
*In other Naturals news, pitcher Matt Murray was promoted to Triple-A Omaha, as rehabber Kris Medlen was added to the roster. He is expected to start Game 1 of their doubleheader in Springfield (weather permitting).