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Astros prospect Jonathan Singleton suspended 50 games for marijuana

Jan 9, 2013, 5:43 PM EDT

Houston Astros Photo Day Getty Images

Good day to dump some bad news!  Jerry Crasnick reports that Astros top prospect Jonathan Singleton has been suspended 50 games. Singleton’s statement:

“I was informed today that I have tested positive for marijuana,” Singleton said in the statement. “As a result, I am being suspended for the first 50 games of the 2013 season. I accept the penalty and take full responsibility for my actions. I apologize to my parents, the Houston Astros and (general manager) Jeff Luhnow.”

Singleton is not on the Astros’ 40-man roster. Had he been, he would not be suspended because baseball does not test guys on the 40-man roster for marijuana.

In other news, no one has been suspended for drunk driving in baseball ever.

Singleton, 21, hit .284/.396/.497 in the Texas League last year. Keith Law ranks him as the 46th best prospect in all of baseball.

  1. cosanostra71 - Jan 9, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Really? They suspend people for that?

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:04 AM

      he should have used steroids if the suspension is the same, at least he would hit 40 homers

  2. idolized1 - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    In other news, both Rockies and Mariners front office staff have been unusually swamped with trade requests for this time of year.

  3. larrybrown43 - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    MLB: Keeping up with the times, twenty years in the past.

  4. Stiller43 - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    I dont smoke but how stupid it is they would suspend someone for a NON-PED.


    • raysfan1 - Jan 9, 2013 at 8:52 PM


  5. mJankiewicz - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    50 games for weed, 50 games for first PED offense. Glad to see we have our priorities in order.

    • paperlions - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      0 games for DUI

      0 games for beating your wife

  6. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Good day to reiterate that everyone in baseball, from the writers to the league office, should not take it upon themselves to play morality police.

  7. jeffa43 - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Meanwhile Nyjer Morgan is safe from testing….

  8. bjbeliever - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    Not exactly a performance enhancing substance

    • cur68 - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:52 PM

      Performance Dis-Abler in fact. All most people want to do after a joint is some pizza and a nap.

      • buggieowens - Jan 9, 2013 at 8:30 PM

        really?…someone should have told me that before I got my PhD.

      • cur68 - Jan 9, 2013 at 8:33 PM

        I’d reply with something about “personal experience does not a sample size make” but I’m going to go have a nap now. I’m full of pizza.

  9. stex52 - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Just when you think the news can’t get worse for the Astros. I thought we would see him in 2013.

  10. danielcp0303 - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    So glad to see these kind of comments on here. Not long ago, our view of this was very unpopular. Now, people realize it’s absurd. Stop suspending people for using Marijuana, make it legal.

  11. Stiller43 - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Why dont they test for weed if youre on the 40 man roster?

    • hellboundglory9 - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:56 PM

      I think the question ought to be “why do they just because you’re not”?

    • stex52 - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:49 PM

      I’m sure it’s the CBA. Once the players are on the roster, they don’t want to be messed with if they want to smoke a little.

      Really, there is not much reason.

    • jwbiii - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      Generally, no. Players on Major League contracts are tested for drugs of abuse, including weed, only for “just cause.” The Joint (heh-heh) Drug Agreement doesn’t exactly specify what that means, but I suspect Tim Lincecum has had counseling and frequent testing after his weed bust.

  12. ochotrinko - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    Doesn’t this kid know you have to make the bigs before you can smoke pot?

    Stick to the DUI’s and HGH kid, you’ll be alright

  13. ireportyoudecide - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    So I guess this makes him ineligible for the hall of fame for most writers.

  14. mdpickles - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Hey kid, supposed to find HGH not THC.

  15. The Dangerous Mabry - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    Whether or not you agree with the policy, this is part of the drug policy as put forth in the CBA. The rule is clear and the punishment is well defined. Violating the policy calls for the suspension, so there it is. I don’t have a problem with suggesting the policy could be changed, but this isn’t some kind of moral decision by the league.

    • jwbiii - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:59 PM

      Sorry, it is. This policy applies only to minor leaguers who are not covered by the CBA. This policy was unilaterally imposed by MLB.

      • blacksables - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:42 AM

        No, it wasn’t. MLB does not control the minor leauges.

        Minor League Baseball, formerly known as the as the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues does.

        It might be part of their agreement, but it is not MLB.

        How about Hardball Talk institute a basic baseball knowledge test before people comment on things. Might get rid of a bunch of the trolls who just like to complain, but don’t actually know anything about the game.

      • jwbiii - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM

        I completely agree with you. The clueless should refrain from commenting on subjects on which they have no knowledge, if for no other reason than that they will be thought to be clueless.

        “2001: MLB unilaterally implements its first random drug-testing program in the Minor Leagues. All players outside the 40-man roster of each Major League club are subject to random testing for steroid-based, performance enhancing drugs, plus drugs of abuse (marijuana, cocaine). The penalties are 15 games for a first positive test, 30 games for a second, 60 games for a third, and one year for a fourth. A fifth offense earns a ban from professional baseball for life.”

  16. bh192012 - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    The guy made a stupid mistake. That said, it shouldn’t be tested for. Also it should be regulated similar to alcohol.

  17. Carl Hancock - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    They apply PED level suspensions for marijuana? Seems extreme, but then again it’s probably a good idea to deter use. Lets not forget how many fairly young adults are in the minors. Kids right out of high school. From that perspective it makes more sense.

  18. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 9, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    I agree – very suprising and mixed up that they test for pot. Still, I just can’t resist

  19. championsleaguer - Jan 9, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    I’m thinking, a trade to the Rockies, or Mariners perhaps?

  20. Liam - Jan 9, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Assuming marijuana testing deters usage, I’ve always wondered where it actually went. Do the people who are deterred just stop using drugs or do they move on to other recreational drugs that are much harder/impossible to test for. LSD and mushrooms are the closest substitutes that I know of and both can’t be detected after about a day or so. Alcohol isn’t a good substitute really, but it’s the other extremely easy drug to find and it can’t be tested for. I’d say each of those three drugs are much worse than marijuana. Assuming deterring marijuana usage is a worthy goal and that testing does that, you still have to look at the second order effects to make a call on it. Just my not particularly relevant two cents.

  21. hermie13 - Jan 9, 2013 at 9:53 PM

    actually it’s 0 games for a marijuana offense. it’s 50 games for your SECOND marijuana offense. Singleton had been busted once already.

  22. thebigtim2012 - Jan 9, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Ahhh refer I don’t give a shut how socially acceptable it becomes it is illegal in all 50 states just ask the Feds. I got no problem with the policy. My only issue is it should be the same in the bigs. The stuff makes u dumb and lazy

    • tuberippin - Jan 9, 2013 at 10:17 PM

      “The stuff makes u dumb and lazy”, said the poster who could not be bothered to write the word “you” in full.

      Also, it’s legal in two states, not counting the many states with medical marijuana laws.

      Seriously though, it’s not your body or your life. Why do you care?

      • blacksables - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:45 AM

        That same argument could be used for the Hall of Fame.

  23. fearthehoody - Jan 9, 2013 at 10:11 PM

    Amazing how this great country has now become the, “If it feels good do it” nation. Today drugs are legal, tomorrow prostitution, the next day, who knows?

    • tuberippin - Jan 9, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      How disgustingly Catholic of you. What year are you living in?

      You’re seriously using the “gateway” argument? IF YOU SMOKE MARIJUANA IT WILL LEAD TO RAPE AND MURDER….ignoring all statistical and scientific evidence to the contrary.

      Grow up.

      • stex52 - Jan 9, 2013 at 11:31 PM

        How disgustingly anti-Catholic of you. I guess we all have our own little bigotries, huh?

      • Ben - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:44 AM

        I dunno, the Catholic church has kinda earned our contempt, hasn’t it? Condemning condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV in Africa, massive international coverup of the alarmingly frequent sexual abuse of children by the priesthood, can’t seem to get on the right side of history on homosexuality. I could go on. Not sure it’s bigotry when the church has proved to be dangerous, hypocritical, and intolerant.

      • stex52 - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:34 AM

        I missed the part about the Catholic Church saying marijuana leads to rape and murder.

        You missed the parts about unjust wars, unjust imprisonment, torture, capital punishment, and social justice for the poor.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:39 AM

        Not letting that one go.

        Tube, Ben, I am Catholic, go to church every week. Please enlighten me why my creed used as a slur. By all means, tell me how my faith should be used as a slander. Also curious what other faiths you use as slurs?

      • stex52 - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:19 AM

        They’re busy. Had to run off to the Klan meeting.

      • Ben - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:50 AM

        Well that’s the trouble; I was raised Catholic, and I would have no trouble using Catholic as a slur to mean “retrograde institution,” because that’s precisely what it is. But by no means would I use it an individual slur, that does smack me of bigotry.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:07 PM

        @ben – the comment you were giving a qualified defense of was “How disgustingly Catholic of you”. Replace the word Catholic with any other faith and explain how that comment would be acceptable, or how that is not a slur against members of that faith. You say that you believe the writer meant “How disgustingly retrograde” – then why not say that? Why bring religion into it, if it is not meant to also be a slap at the religion.

        You say you were raised Catholic – if so, you probably know the Nicene Creed from rote repetition. You probably also know that that is the proclamation of what Catholicism. There is not a word in there about anything you have issues with. That was decided by men. Criticize the policy, criticizes those making those policies. But to call something “disgustingly Catholic” is to cast a very broad stroke that encompasses far more then policies or people who are in charge.

      • tuberippin - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:10 PM

        What I was referring to was the notion of “if it feels good, do it”, as Catholicism is counter-oppositional in that regard and boils down to “if it feels good, don’t do it and feel shame for it”.

        If you would prefer to take it as a personal level (which a couple of you appear to have done), that’s on you. I’m not here to get into a religious debate, nor am I here to e-wipe the e-tears of the easily offended and outraged. Take that as you will.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:20 PM

        Easily offended? Get a clue, Archie Bunker! But make a broad slur against my family, my friends, people I hold in very dear regard – yea, I will defend them. They are Catholic, and they know a heck of a lot more about it then you if you think your myopic descriptions in this thread are the definition of Catholicism.

        “How disgustingly Catholic of you” – in this case, using Catholic as an adjective with the adverb “disgustingly” right in front of it. Clearly Catholic is being used as a negative. You don’t like being called out on bigoted comments, then keep them to yourself. And if you don’t think that is bigoted – pick another faith and describe a person as “Disgustingly that faith”, and see how well it goes over. You will find your logic is disgustingly contorted

    • jimmymarlinsfan - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:46 AM

      Actually if you legalized prostitution and drugs like marijuana, you would eliminate the need for things like drug dealers and pimps but hey, the war on drugs has been a smashing success and I think we ought to continue to throw money down the tubes all the while feeding the prison industrial complex

  24. Chris Fiorentino - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Stupid question…..if this guy wasn’t on the 40 man roster, then why didn’t anybody take a shot on grabbing him in the rule 5 draft?

    • paperlions - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:32 AM

      Players are eligible for selection in the Rule 5 draft who are not on their major league organization’s 40-man roster and:

      – were 18 or younger on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is the fifth Rule 5 draft upcoming; or

      – were 19 or older on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is fourth Rule 5 draft upcoming.

    • stex52 - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      I don’t think the Astros would have made that mistake (at least I hope not). He has been designated their 1st baseman of the future. At least until now. In retrospect, too bad he wasn’t on the 40-man roster. This is a whack to him and to the MLB team.

  25. sisisisisisisi - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    He has not apparently learned any lessons from Bond and Clemens

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