By: Jay Blue
Canadian Baseball Network
While it seems like a regular occurrence in the Blue Jays' system that a player gets suspended, it's actually quite rare. Considering that there are over 250 players in the system at any given time, the fact that the Blue Jays have had just four suspensions in the past three years is not bad. The suspension of Andrew Case, a New Brunswick-born right-handed pitcher, is probably the first time the Blue Jays have had a player suspended for NOT taking a drug test.
It was reported Monday that Case was suspended for 50 games after a "refusal to take drug test" (according to Baseball America's interpretation). The wording that was reported on MiLB was that he was suspended for "failing to take a drug test."
Baseball Essential got to the bottom of things by actually contacting Andrew Case, who reported that he failed to let Drug Free Sport know of his whereabouts over the offseason. Because he didn't let them know, he was unable to afford a last-minute plane ticket to Toronto in order to be tested and while he tried to arrange for a test in Alberta, Case was informed that it was too late.
Case, 23, split last season between the Lansing Lugnuts (with a 3.32 ERA and 1.43 WHIP) and the Vancouver Canadians (with a 2.93 ERA and 1.21 WHIP), throwing 52 1/3 innings overall in his second pro season. He had signed after an outstanding performance at the annual T-12 Tournament that the Blue Jays hold for players across Canada.
Case was a member of the Vancouver Canadians at the end of last year, and as a short-season team, the Canadians begin play in mid-June. Case has been moved Lansing Lugnuts' roster, will sit 50 games and return in late-May.
This is truly an unfortunate development for Case's season. As a 23-year-old undrafted free agent, Case understands the impact that his suspension will have, saying, "I have to be more mature of the situation and be sure to let Drug Free know. But I'll serve it [the suspension] and come back ready more then ever to play and help my team win."
This original 76-game suspension was appealed and dropped to 50 games.