Mondesi suspended, Minor begins rehab

There was some good news and bad news coming out of the KC Royals organization this afternoon. Let’s start with the good news.

Lefty Mike Minor, who has not pitched in the big leagues since September 20, 2014, has begun a rehab assignment. Minor will start tonight’s game for Double-A NW Arkansas. It will be his Royals debut.

Minor is recovering from shoulder surgery and is on the Royals 60-day DL. He will have a maximum of 30 days on a rehab assignment (unless there are setbacks), but he can be activated from the DL at any time. He could be back in the big leagues by June (or the end of May if they rush him).

Now to the bad news.

Raul Mondesi ST

Shortstop Raul Mondesi during spring training 2015 (Jen Nevius).

It was a busy day with the Naturals, as they lost shortstop Raul Mondesi until at least July. The Royals top prospect was suspended for 50 games effective immediately for testing positive for Clenbuterol, which is considered a PED. His suspension was reduced from 80 games to 50 games because he said that he took cold medicine and Clenbuterol was unknowingly an ingredient. Because MLB believed that Mondesi was not cheating the game, he is also eligible for the postseason, should the Royals qualify and choose to add him to their roster.

The Royals believe he made an innocent mistake, but it was also stupid. MLB provides a list of approved drugs. They also have an app to check if a specific drug is approved. Mondesi also did not let anyone know he was taking the cold medication (plus he got it from the Dominican Republic).

Mondesi released this statement via the MLB Players’ Association:

“It is by far one of the hardest moments I have had to face in my life, but it is a decision that I accept and one that I take full responsibility for as a professional,” Mondesi said in a statement.

“I took an over-the-counter medication (Subrox-C) which I bought in the Dominican Republic to treat cold and flu symptoms. I failed to read the labeling on the medication or consult with my trainer or team about taking it and did not know it contained a banned substance. I tested positive for that banned substance, with a minuscule amount of Clenbuterol in my system which could not have possibly enhanced my performance on the field, and now must face the consequences of that mistake.

“I apologize to my organization, my teammates, the fans and everyone who has supported me in my career. Never did I intend to take a substance that would give me an unfair advantage on the field. It is solely my mistake and there are no excuses for my carelessness in not being fully informed of what I put in my body.

“My goal is to work through this setback and make it back in time to help my organization compete for another World Series title.”
Whether you believe him or not, we all have to agree it wasn’t exactly a smart decision on his part.

The Naturals activated infielder-turned-outfielder Carlos Garcia to take Mondesi’s roster spot. However, lefty reliever Sam Selman (who has been awful yet again) was placed on the DL. He has not pitched since April 27th. In 5.1 innings, Selman allowed ten runs on 11 hits (three home runs) and five walks while striking out five. That puts the Naturals down a pitcher (but with an off-day on Wednesday).
After another disastrous start for Chris Young with the Royals last night, manager Ned Yost said they would stick with him. Less than 24 hours later, the Royals named Dillon Gee as their starter on Saturday, in Young’s spot.
Last night, Young wasn’t making any excuses for his poor starts. Today, he was maybe blaming the tightness in his forearm for his ineffectiveness. Young will head to KC for an MRI.

About Jen Nevius

I first became a KC Royals fan way back in 1995 when I attended my first Wilmington Blue Rocks game. I fell in love with minor league baseball then and began following the Royals as former Blue Rocks clawed their way to the big leagues. 3+ years ago I started covering the Royals for Aerys Sports, but since the site has been shut down, I am going out on my own.
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