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Orioles’ former first-round pick Billy Rowell suspended 50 games for drug of abuse

May 14, 2012, 5:45 PM EDT

billy rowell card

It took Billy Rowell six seasons to reach Double-A after Baltimore selected him out of high school with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2006 draft and he hasn’t played yet this season because he’s moving from hitter to pitcher.

And now his mound debut will have to wait even longer, as the 23-year-old first baseman-turned-pitcher has been suspended 50 games for a second positive drug test.

According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun the suspension is for a drug of abuse, which means it wasn’t a performance-enhancing substance.

Rowell was a non-prospect as a hitter because of a .389 career slugging percentage and he was set to begin his pitching career all the way down in rookie-ball.

Rowell is the third Orioles minor leaguer to receive a 50-game suspension this season.

  1. jwbiii - May 14, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Which amounts to a 20 game suspension.

  2. DJ MC - May 14, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    If Rowell were willing to take a performance-enhancing substance, I think a lot of orioles fans would have been in favor of that long ago.

    Now, though? He’s probably going to be let go (I imagine his minor-league free agency is coming up), which is best for everyone involved.

  3. joeflaccosunibrow - May 15, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    If he is used performance enhancers to reach a .389 slugging percentage, I would hate to see what he was like on Flintstone vitamins!

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