Athletics RHP Frankie Montas suspended 80 games for performance-enhancing drugs

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Oakland Athletics pitcher Frankie Montas has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for Ostarine, a performance-enhancing substance banned by MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the league announced Friday.

Oakland Athletics pitcher Frankie Montas works against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 20, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Frankie Montas' season is essentially over. (AP)

The suspension is set to begin immediately.

Given that the Athletics have already played 76 games this year, this suspension will wipe out the rest of Montas’ 2019 season except for six games at most, and will make him ineligible for the postseason if the Athletics end up snagging a wild card spot.

The Athletics released a statement once the suspension was announced, saying they would welcome Montas back after the end of the suspension.

Acquired as a flamethrowing prospect from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Rich Hill-Josh Reddick trade, Montas had been in the middle of a breakout year for the A’s. The 26-year-old is 9-2 with a 2.70 ERA and 2.86 FIP in 90 innings this year, leading the team in wins, innings, strikeouts and ERA among starting pitchers.

“While I never intended to take any prohibited substance, I unfortunately and unknowingly ingested a contaminated supplement that I had purchased over-the-counter at a nutrition store here in the United States,” Montas said in a statement. “That said, I respect MLB rules and understand my responsibilities under the Joint Drug Agreement, and accept full responsibility. I sincerely apologize to the A’s organization, the fans, my teammates, and my family for this mistake. My hope is to be able to return to the A’s later this season and contribute as best I can.”

On the bright side for the A’s, the team should be able to soon replace Montas with another top talent, southpaw Jesús Luzardo.

Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 8 prospect in baseball, Luzardo missed the beginning of the season with a shoulder strain but returned to the minors last week and could soon make his MLB debut.

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