For the second time this year a Phillies pitcher has been suspended 80 games for use of the performance enhancing drug dehydrochlormethyltestosterone.
Alec Asher, currently on the team’s 40-man roster who was recovering from a shin injury while at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, is the culprit this time. He has pitched well in both Reading and Lehigh this season, going 4-2 with a 2.30 ERA in eight starts. He has struck out 35 batters and walked seven in 54 2/3 innings between the two locations.
In four starts at Reading he had an ERA of 3.20, striking out 5.7 batters per nine innings and walking 1.4. In four starts at Lehigh before his injury, he had an impressive ERA of 1.53, with 5.8 K/9 and 0.9 BB/9.
Asher is the second Phils pitcher to be nabbed for taking this particular PED. Rule 5 pick Daniel Stumpf also was suspended for 80 games for taking dehydrochlormethyltestosterone. Asher was acquired along with Jerad Eickhoff, Nick Williams, Jorge Alfaro and Jake Thompson in the Cole Hamels deal last year. He was buried on the minor league starter depth chart.
Asher had a rough start to his Major League career in seven starts for the Phils last year, going 0-6 with a 9.31 ERA. In 29 innings he gave up 30 ER on 42 hits, striking out 16 and walking 10.
The team released a short statement, saying,"The Phillies support Major League Baseball's joint prevention and treatment program and are disappointed to hear today's news of Alec's violation.”