Blue Jays Launch Investigation into 'Disturbing' PED Use in Minor League System

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2017

DETROIT, MI - JULY 16:  A detailed view of a Toronto Blue Jays baseball hat and glove sitting on the dugout steps during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on July 16, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Blue Jays 6-5.  (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Mark Cunningham/Getty Images

The Toronto Blue Jays have launched an investigation after six players from their minor league affiliates tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, according to the Canadian Press (via ESPN.com).

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins released a statement regarding the news:

"This situation is very disappointing and disturbing to the organization; disappointing that the players made these choices, but more so disturbing that some failure of our environment allowed this to happen. It is our responsibility to create an environment and culture where our players know that PED use is not condoned, and to give them resources and education to ensure that they do not make these decisions."

Drug testers flagged all six players, who are listed below, for the steroid boldenone:

  • Jol Concepcion, pitcher
  • Juan Jimenez, pitcher
  • Naswell Paulino, pitcher
  • Leonicio Ventura, catcher
  • Hugo Cardona, shortstop 
  • Yhon Perez, left fielder

Concepcion received a 60-game suspension, while the others were given 72-game punishments. Concepcion was also the only player among the group who didn't finish the season with Toronto's affiliate in the Dominican Summer League.

The 19-year-old went 2-2 in nine Rookie League appearances in 2017. He posted a 3.78 ERA over 33.1 innings.

Ventura led the Dominican Summer League Blue Jays in slugging percentage (.419), while Perez's 24 RBI were second on the team. Cardona batted .249 and had 15 stolen bases.