White Sox minor leaguer Telvin Nash was suspended for 50 games by major league baseball on Friday for violating the minor league drug program policy.
Nash, who appeared in 46 games for the Sox’ Class A affiliate at Winston- Salem, tested positive for amphetamine, a banned stimulant. The 25-year-old first baseman was hitting .255 with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs for the Dash this season. Nash was a third-round pick of the Astros in 2009 and is in his first season with the Sox organization.
Nash was suspended along with free agent pitcher Oliver Suero, who was suspended for 72 games for testing positive for Stanozolol, a performing enhancing substance. There have now been 73 suspensions this season under the minor league drug program and 13 under the major league program.
Comforts of home?
Starting with Friday night’s game against the A’s, the Sox play 26 of their 42 remaining games at U.S. Cellular Field. But after entering Friday 12 ½ games behind the first-place Indians and 10 games out of the Wild Card, the Sox understand it doesn’t matter where they play – they need to start winning if they’re going to make any kind of move.
“We’ve got to win series and start sweeping teams,” third baseman Todd Frazier said Friday. “There’s no other way around it. The hitters have to keep putting up runs and the pitchers have to keep pitching lights out. Hopefully we’ll make a push.”
Manager Robin Ventura said his team’s deficit won’t impact how he manages games, but understands the need – especially with younger players – to keep the focus where it needs to be.
“It can be hard at times,” Ventura said. “But, again, this is a tough game and you have to be able to do it.”
On the mend
Outfielder Avisail Garcia will begin a minor league rehab assignment at Class AAA Charlotte this weekend, Ventura said. Garcia was placed on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 9 (retroactive to Aug. 7) with a sprained right knee.
“He should be going out here in the next couple of days to test (the knee),” Ventura said. “He looks fine. In Cleveland, he was doing everything. It’s good to see him get out there and run and not feel any pain and there’s no swelling or anything like that. It would be nice to get him back and swinging a bat.”
Second baseman Brett Lawrie (hamstring) was scheduled to play at Class AA Birmingham Friday after the Barons were rained out on Thursday. Lawrie was pulled from his start Wednesday night as a precaution with a quad issue.
After being optioned to Charlotte Tuesday night, pitcher Carson Fulmer had a rough go in his first start Friday night. Fulmer, who made 17 minor league appearances before making eight appearances out of the Sox’ bullpen since being called up on July 15, gave up six earned runs and five hits and walked two in only an inning against Gwinnett.
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