Mets outfielder Cesar Puello, who is currently with AA Binghamton, has been suspended for 50 games due to his link to performance enhancing drug provider Biogenesis. Puello, 22, is on the 40-man roster, meaning he has the same rights as the suspended major league players. Still, it’s expected that Puello will accept the ban without appealing.
Puello will miss the remaining 29 games Binghamton has in the regular season, plus any Playoff games the team participates in.
According to the Associated Press, “40-man roster players serving a 50-game suspension would have major league games in September count as time served after the minor league seasons end.” If that’s the case, Puello will not miss any time in 2014 due to the suspension.
It came out during spring training that Puello had received performance enhancing drugs from Biogenesis. At the time, Puello refused comment.
With the looming suspension hanging over his head, Puello had a breakout year with Binghamton. He hit .328 with a .405 OBP and .550 slugging percentage, smacked 16 homers, drove in 73 runs, and stole 25 bases. Puello may have merited a promotion to AAA, but the Mets decided to leave him in AA. The company line was that they wanted Puello to keep experiencing success at the level, but it’s likely the impending suspension had something to do with it.
Puello’s performance this season vaulted him back into the conversation as a potential answer for the Mets in the outfield. One can only hope that he has been playing clean this season, and that this suspension will be just a bump in the road for him.
In a surprise, utility man Jordany Valdespin, who was recently demoted to AAA Las Vegas, was also suspended due to his connection to Biogenesis.
The 25 year old Valdespin hit .188 with a .250 OBP for the Mets, but his time in the big leagues was overshadowed by immaturity both on and off the field. He was almost universally disliked by teammates, and they had numerous reasons to dislike him. When he was informed of his demotion to AAA, Valdespin reportedly called manager Terry Collins a c***sucker.
Last week, while playing for AAA Las Vegas, Valdespin was suspended due to his role in a benches clearing brawl that he incited by pimping numerous hits.
Valdespin was expected to be a 40-man roster casualty after the season, and the 50 game Biogenesis linked suspension likely seals his fate.