Galvis Suspended 50 Games
Major League Baseball announced today that Freddy Galvis, who has impressed the organization and fans with his brilliant defense and on-field smarts, has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for a metabolite of Clostebol, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The suspension began today, even with Galvis on the disabled list with a pars fracture in his back that likely would have had him sidelined the next 50 games anyway. Nobody could say if Galvis appealed the league’s decision, but MLB would not make the announcement if Galvis was in the middle of an appeal. Either he lost his appeal or he never appealed.
Not surprisingly, Galvis claimed innocence in a statement:
“A trace amount of a banned substance – 80 parts in a trillion – was detected in my urine sample. I am extremely disappointed in what has transpired. I cannot understand how even this tiny particle of a banned substance got into my body. I have not and never would knowingly use anything illegal to enhance my performance. I have always tried to follow the team’s strength and conditioning methods, listen to the trainers, work out hard and eat right. Unfortunately, the rules are the rules and I will be suspended.”
Galvis later said on Twitter: “Sometimes life isn’t fair… But that’s the way it is… You have to keep moving forward and turn the page.”
Galvis was hitting only .226 with 15 doubles, one triple, three home runs, 24 RBIs and a .617 on-base plus slugging percentage in 58 games before he went on the DL on June 6. He doesn’t fit the mold of the typical bulked-up power hitter, but Galvis credited increased strength over the past year or so for his improved performance at the plate.
Galvis never hit higher than .240 with a .588 OPS in the Minor Leagues before he hit a combined .278 with a .716 OPS with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley last season.
“It’s disappointing,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said in the Phillies dugout before tonight’s series opener against the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park. “We fully support the program and the decision. At the same time we support the player. We just want him to get healthy and get back onto the field for us. … We believe in the kid. I believe in him. I think he’s still got a great future for us moving forward.”
Asked if he believed Galvis’ claim of innocence by mentioning only 80 parts of the banned substance in a trillion were found in his system, Amaro said, “I don’t know anything about those numbers. It’s kind of foreign to me. As I said, I support the player. I can’t really comment on it because I don’t know much about it.”
Galvis was not available to reporters, but Amaro had. He said Galvis was “disappointed.”
Galvis also added in his statement, “I’d like to apologize to my all my fans, especially here in Philadelphia and back home in Venezuela, to my teammates and to the Phillies organization. I am looking forward to putting this behind me, rehabilitating my back and returning to the Phillies as soon as possible to try to help them win another World Series.”