Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon was suspended 80 games without pay for performance-enhancing drugs, Major League Baseball announced late Thursday evening. Gordon tested positive for exogenous Testosterone and Clostebol, which is a modified form of testosterone.
Under the current Joint Drug Agreement, a player who is suspended during the regular season is not eligible for postseason play that same year. Thus, however improbable it may seem at this time, should the Marlins reach the playoffs in 2016, Gordon will not be playing in October.
His suspension was rendered less than 20 minutes after Gordon and the Marlins completed their first ever four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Playing in front of his old home, the reigning National League batting champion went 4-for-19 with three runs scored, one double and one RBI in the series.
Gordon tied Thursday’s game with an RBI single in the eighth, and later that inning drew a balk from Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez to score an insurance run for Miami. This season, he was hitting .266/.289/.340 with three doubles, two triples and six stolen bases in 21 games.
The Dodgers’ decision to package Gordon in a trade to the Marlins in December 2014 struck some as a curious one. That was magnified when the speedy All-Star went on to put together a historically great campaign.
In 145 games, he batted .333/.359/.418 with 24 doubles, eight triples, 58 stolen bases and committed six errors in just his second season playing second base. Gordon became the first player in MLB history to win a Gold Glove, lead the Majors in stolen bases and win the batting title all in the same season.
On the day Marlins manager Don Mattingly made his return to Dodger Stadium, he spoke highly of Gordon, whom Mattingly also managed during his tenure with the Dodgers. “I think before he was learning and getting better,” Mattingly said. “Still, there’s a point where you cross over and you know you can play here.
“I think what you see in Dee is a kid that’s confident. … He’s more of a confident kid, and that comes with success. His season last year was off the charts. When you do something like that, you know you can do it.”
In discussing his longstanding confidence in Gordon, Mattingly continued, “I didn’t really doubt Dee. … What I liked about Dee was his swing. I thought his swing was good. You have to remember, this kid was 140-something pounds when he came up. He’s slowly over the years built up, I think he’s close to 170 pounds now. This is a kid putting on mature strength, along with a pretty good swing, and obviously the speed tool isn’t going away.”
Gordon signed a five-year, $50 million contract extension with the Marlins in the offseason. The 28 year old joins Cleveland’s Abraham Almonte, New York Mets’ Jenrry Mejia, Philadelphia’s Daniel Stumpf and Toronto’s Chris Colabello as Major League players who have been suspended for PEDs this year. Mejia received a lifetime ban after testing positive a third time.