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|Jenrry Mejia will get another opportunity to pitch in the major leagues.
Nearly 2 years after becoming the first player to receive a lifetime suspension under Major League Baseball’s drug program Andy Dalton Jersey , the New York Mets reliever was given conditional reinstatement Friday and could return to the big leagues in 2019.
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Mejia will be able to participate in non-public workouts in the team’s facilities after the All-Star break and will be eligible for a minor league rehabilitation assignment in mid-August. If Mejia meets specified conditions, such as not testing positive again for a banned substance, he would be eligible to resume all baseball activities when spring training starts in February.
Mejia was suspended for life on Feb. 12, 2016, after his third positive test for a banned steroid. The drug agreement allowed him to apply a year later for reinstatement that would be effective a minimum two years after the ban started, with the decision at the commissioner’s discretion.
Manfred had a meeting with Mejia in 2017, after the application to return to baseball was submitted.
”Mr. Mejia expressed regret for poor choices he made in the past and assured me that, if reinstated, he would adhere to the terms of the (drug) program going forward,” Manfred said in a statement. ”In light of Mr. Mejia’s contrition, his commitment to comply with the program in the future, and the fact that he will have already spent almost four consecutive years suspended without pay, I have decided to grant Mr. Mejia a final chance to resume his professional career.”
A right-hander who turns 29 in October, Mejia was the Mets’ closer in 2014, then was suspended for 80 games on April 11, 2015, following a positive test for Stanozolol, a drug popular among bodybuilders. At the time, he maintained A.J. Green Jersey , ”I can honestly say I have no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system.”
Mejia returned July 12, appeared in seven games for New York, then was banned for 162 games on July 28 after a positive test for Stanozolol and Boldenone. The third suspension was for a positive test for Boldenone, an anabolic steroid generally used by veterinarians on horses.
”I’ve had a long, difficult time away from the game to contemplate the mistakes I’ve made both with regard to my positive drug tests and also the false allegations I made about Major League Baseball’s investigation into my testing history,” Mejia said in a statement issued through the players’ association. ”Baseball is my profession, my passion and my life, and for those mistakes I am truly sorry.”
Mejia is 9-14 with a 3.68 ERA in 18 starts and 95 relief appearances. In addition to random drug tests, he will be subject annually to six additional urine tests and three additional blood tests.
He has four years, 140 days of major league service and would be eligible for salary arbitration this winter and again after the 2019 season before becoming eligible for free agency.
Even though Mejia is not being paid, he has a contract. The Mets cut his salary the maximum allowed, 30 percent over two years, from $2.47 million in 2016 to $1,976,000 in 2017 to $1,729,000 this year. For 2019, he can be cut by 20 percent to $1,383 William Jackson Jersey ,200, staying within the reduction limit of 30 percent over two years.
”I am aware that he can get reinstated at some point,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. ”I think right now we’re just focused on who we have here and kind of moving forward.”
Aaron Nola never gets flustered, even when he’s riding a stationary bike while the closer fights to protect the lead.
Nola struck out 10 in another dominant performance, Scott Kingery hit a three-run homer and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Colorado Rockies 5-4 on Tuesday night.
Seranthony Dominguez escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the ninth for his third save.
”I just take it pitch by pitch,” Nola said.
Nola (8-2) allowed one run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings, lowering his ERA to 2.27. He has given up three runs or less in 13 of 14 starts.
”He’s a special kind of competitor,” manager Gabe Kapler said. ”He’s fun to watch.”
Nola left after striking out Ian Desmond with runners on first and third. Edubray Ramos entered and gave up a bloop RBI single to Tom Murphy before recording the third out. Tommy Hunter tossed a scoreless eighth. But Luis Garcia allowed four consecutive singles to start the ninth. He departed after Murphy’s RBI single cut it to 5-2.
Dominguez entered and gave up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Chris Iannetta. DJ LeMahieu’s sacrifice fly cut it to 5-4. But right fielder Aaron Altherr ran down Charlie Blackmon’s hard liner for the second out and Dominguez struck out Nolan Arenado to end it.
”I was thankful to get the job done,” Dominguez said.
Kapler called Altherr’s running catch a ”game-saver.”
”That play was sensational,” he said.
Kingery drove a 1-2 pitch from Jon Gray (6-7) out to left-center to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead in the first. He added a sacrifice fly in the third.
Gray surrendered four runs on only three hits in six innings. He also fanned 10.
”I had no rhythm early and it cost me,” Gray said.
Jesmuel Valentin’s pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth extended Philadelphia’s lead to 5-1.
The Phillies have won two in a row for the first time since a three-game winning streak May 13-17.
The Rockies have lost five straight and nine of 11.
After starting at five positions, Kingery has taken over as Philadelphia’s regular shortstop despite batting only .215. J.P. Crawford has moved to third base since returning from the disabled list and has started five straight games instead of Maikel Franco.
”It’s been a process,” Kingery said. ”Just trying to go step by step to where I feel better in the box.”
This was the first time a Phillies starter and opposing starter each struck out 10 or more in the same game since April 25, 2011, at Arizona when Cliff Lee had 12 and Ian Kennedy had 10.
Rockies: OF Carlos Gonzalez was back in the lineup after missing two games with a rib issue. … RHP Adam Ottavino threw a live batting practice session. He has been sidelined by a left oblique strain.
Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff received a cortisone shot in his right wrist on Monday. Eickhoff hasn’t pitched this season. … Reliever Pat Neshek threw a bullpen session Tuesday. He began the season on the DL with a shoulder strain and sustained a flexor strain in his elbow during rehab. … Utilityman Pedro Florimon could return in September after breaking his right foot during the team’s recent road trip.
RHP Nick Pivetta (4-5, 3.76 ERA) starts for the Phillies while LHP Tyler Anderson (3-1, 4.81) goes for the Rockies in the middle game Wednesday night.
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