Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher J.C. Mejia is facing a 162-game suspension after testing positive for a performance enhancing drug for the second time in his career. MLB issued the suspension Wednesday, more than a year after Mejia was suspended 80 games for the same offense in 2022.

The steroid Mejia tested positive for was Stanozolol, a synthetic drug derived from testosterone. San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. was suspended for using the same substance last season.

“The Milwaukee Brewers fully support MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and share in the goal of eliminating performance-enhancing substances from our game,” Brewers president of baseball operations Matt Arnold said in a statement.

In nine appearances this season, Mejia earned a 5.56 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 11.1 innings pitched. In three seasons, including a brief stint as a starter in Cleveland in 2021, he has only pitched in 28 games, compiling an 8.32 career ERA.


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Because the 2023 season is nearly over, Mejia’s suspension will last well into 2024, at which point he will be nearly 29 years old. His contract with the Brewers is not guaranteed beyond 2023 and based on his performance on the field, this suspension could exhaust his remaining utility for the team.

After his 80-game suspension in 2022, Brewers manager Craig Counsell criticized Mejia for squandering an opportunity to seize an MLB opportunity. It appears that Counsell’s advice has gone unheeded.

“These mistakes have consequences,” Counsell said at the time. “It costs him a chance to establish himself as a Major League pitcher. He’s got to take this opportunity, use the time to make himself better and see what that brings in August [when] this suspension is completed.”

The Brewers will soon begin preparing for their postseason run as the presumed NL Central division winners. The team is 86-66 with 10 games remaining and has a seven-game lead over the Cubs in second place.

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