The troubling season for the 2012 Phillies just got worse.
On Tuesday, we learned that second baseman/shorstop Freddy Galvis, who had just gone on the disabled list for a back injury, has been suspended 50 games for the use of Clostebol, a drug banned by Major League Baseball.
According to a Philadelphia Phillies press release, "The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Philadelphia Phillies infielder Freddy Galvis has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a metabolite of Clostebol, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program". Galvis was expected to be in a back brace for about six weeks, so it's even possible that he would not have returned in 2012 at all. Galvis immediately apologized to fans in Philadelphia and his home of Venezuela, his teammates, and the organiziation, wondering how a trace amount of Clostebol could even be found in his urine sample.
To date, Galvis has hit .226 with a .254 on-base percentage and .363 slugging percentage. He seemed to be hitting the ball better as of late, and had a .705 OPS in the month of May, which was respectable for a Philadelphia lineup that struggled at times, but was hitting the ball better as of late.
To say the least, this is disappointing. Galvis was not lighting the world on fire as the numbers may prove, but those who saw him were saying he was looking stronger in spring training. He was also excelling with the glove and playing very well defensively, something that Galvis had been lauded for as he came through the Phillies' minor league system. Now he will be serving a 50-game suspension, something that nobody saw coming.
People do make mistakes, and the Phillies have had a suspension in the past in the Majors since the drug policy was enacted. J.C. Romero was suspended prior to the 2009 season for using andro. This is nothing new for the organization in that regard, although this may be a tougher bullet to swallow PR-wise for the club since it is happening right smack in the middle of the season. Romero's incident had occurred in January of 2009, giving the team some time to react and deflect the news before spring training hit. With the team 31-37 and having a struggling 2012 season, this will be hard for a lot of people to take.
It is not known what action the Phillies will take from here, but it is possible the Phillies take Galvis off of the disabled list and allow him to start serving the suspension. Either way, Galvis may have only been back with the club very late in the season, likely in September. It is possible that the team will now shut him down for the rest of 2012 and tell him to come back in 2013 with a clear head, and hopefully, a body clear of any banned substances.
Sources: Daily News Live/CSN Philadelphia, Baseball-Reference.com
Victor Filoromo is a featured contributor for Yahoo! and also contributes to PhuturePhillies.com, a Phillies' prospect blog. He grew up just outside of Philadelphia, and enjoys Philadelphia sports, media, and politics.