Ever since his 80-game suspension for using performing-enhancing drugs was announced, Twins pitcher Ervin Santana has been working toward a return to the mound in the second half of the season. But now comes word that the veteran right-hander will be ineligible for the post-season.
According to the Pioneer Press, the Joint Drug Agreement added a provision in 2014 after Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta went from 50-game suspensions to postseason appearances in 2013.
The report cites a section of the 60-page document noting that any player suspended for performance-enhancing drugs "shall be barred from participating in the postseason (including, without limitation, being in uniform during his club's postseason games) during the season in which his suspension commenced even after completion of his suspension."
Santana reported to extended spring training in Fort Myers, Florida, last week to begin working toward a return to the team for the second half of the season.
He did not appeal the suspension, which began on Opening Day. But the Pioneer Press notes that had Santana been able to get his suspension reduced on appeal, he could be eligible for the postseason this fall.
After a 14-10 season with Atlanta last year, the Twins signed Santana to a four-year $55 million contract in the offseason.
The Twins are still in the postseason picture. They hold a half-game edge over the Yankees and Tampa Bay for the second wild-card spot in the American League.
They also entered Wednesday's game just three games out of first place in the A.L. Central.