Braves minor leaguer gets 50-game drug suspension

Braves minor league pitcher Billy Bullock was suspended 50 games for a second violation of baseball’s drug prevention and treatment program for a “drug of abuse.”

The suspension was announced Friday by the commissioner’s office. No specific drug was cited, but the program’s list of drugs of abuse includes cocaine, LSD, marijuana, opiates, ecstasy, GHB and PCP.

That’s a separate category than performance-enhancing substances, which includes 70 items such as various steroids and human growth hormone.

“We are always disappointed when these events take place,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said, “and we will continue to educate and counsel our players.”

Bullock, who is on the Triple-A Gwinnett roster, will serve his suspension without pay at the beginning of the 2013 season.

In 40 appearances last season between Double-A Mississippi and Gwinnett, the hard-throwing right-hander compiled a 6.34 ERA with 67 strikeouts, but also a whopping 56 walks in 59-2/3 innings.

The 6-foot-6 Florida native, who will turn 25 in February, came to the Braves from the Twins organization in a March 2011 trade for left-hander Scott Diamond, after the Twins selected Diamond three months earlier in the 2010 Rule 5 draft.

Bullock was a second-round pick out of the University of Florida in 2009. In four minor league seasons he has an 11-11 record, 4.33 ERA and 50 saves in 130 relief appearances, with 283 strikeouts and 146 walks in 218 innings.

80 comments Add your comment

Wheelbarrow

December 21st, 2012
4:55 pm

braveforever

December 21st, 2012
4:56 pm

we don’t need a two time loser…….do we? how dumb can a guy be when we knows the tests will be done.
dumb head and not needed and his record sure wasn’t improved
let him go……..

braveforever

December 21st, 2012
4:58 pm

sorry for the grammatical error

should be “he knows the tests will be done”

Jordan Schafer

December 21st, 2012
5:09 pm

The organization needs to have mandatory drug tresting on its own players to weed these losers out. Not exactly the wholesome, whitebread image Braves’ management is trying to promote to the fans.

Mr. Thomas Anthony Jones, SR.

December 21st, 2012
5:34 pm

This is the best the so-called smart Atlanta braves do? Fired Frank Wren now.

Braves' Nation

December 21st, 2012
5:41 pm

Frank Wren is a boob. $15 million a season for BJ Upton + Uggla’s contract will lead to the exit of the Frank & Fredi show.

JoeBravesFan

December 21st, 2012
5:54 pm

If the Braves don’t release him after a SECOND suspension, something’s wrong…hit the road JACK!

1eyedJack

December 21st, 2012
6:07 pm

200+ players in the organization. Sooner or later somebody’s going to fire up a fatty. Or two.

No. 1 Braves Fan

December 21st, 2012
6:25 pm

Braves Nation: Frank and Fredi are going no where. If they did leave, where would
the Braves go? No where but south in the NL East. Fredi`s extension was Frank`s best move of this off season. 89 wins in 2011 nd 94 wins in 2012. The Braves are in good hands with Frank and Fredi.

Don

December 21st, 2012
6:31 pm

What is this Frank Wen bashing? What did he have to do with this? Absolutely nothing.
If you are going to grade him, grade him on his FA signings, trades, organization hires, etc. I am convinced that he has done an excellent job as GM of the Braves. His trades have been OUTSTANDING overall. He has not given in to fan pressure and made dumb Texeria type trades. Some of his FA signings have not been the best, but overall, I would give him an “A”.

Wrecker

December 21st, 2012
6:40 pm

You said it, Don. I don’t blame the Braves for this moron any more than I would blame a retailer for having one of its salespeople test positive for drugs. Who would we hire as GM or manager if we did get rid of Fredi and Frank? I can’t think of anybody better.

fan

December 21st, 2012
6:54 pm

2nd violation? Kick him out of baseball.

HatchetHerb

December 21st, 2012
7:06 pm

Funny how you all seem to know what this Bullock guy did. I can tell you that it is likely that 75% of professional athletes smoke weed. This guy just got caught. We just signed BJ Upton and he was widely known down in Tampa to smoke the stuff frequently. If it was pot, which it likely was, then he deserves his 50 games and then deserves to start playing again.

ugaaccountant

December 21st, 2012
7:09 pm

In baseball, most say it’s 3 strikes and your out. However, this isn’t performance enhancing drugs so I don’t see a reason to fire the guy. Well, other than the terrible era and walk rate.

Mr Pitts

December 21st, 2012
7:10 pm

Well, I’ll mention Trumbo again. Someone please post a bunch of useless stats so we can comment and debate about them.

While I’m waiting I’ll listen tthat Mad Mike RAP CD fo he 30th time to see if, by chance,it no longer sounds like junk.

Steve

December 21st, 2012
7:45 pm

The high K/9 shows some promise, but I agree with some others here .. no room for druggies in this organization. That can just bring in all sorts of trouble and despite what the idiots in Co. and Oregon think, it does affect others.

Buh-bye.

RunninWithTheDawgs

December 21st, 2012
8:15 pm

Bullock should GO ! There are too many players out there who don’t and won’t use drugs. It looks bad on the whole organization if they even give him ONE pass.

Ralph

December 21st, 2012
8:20 pm

I would release him based o his numbers last year alone, drugs or no drugs, we don’t need him.

richbrave

December 21st, 2012
8:40 pm

He won’t be missed, at least by me.

richbrave

December 21st, 2012
8:57 pm

SOUTH OF THE BORDER

DOMINICA

EASTERN BULLS

Lead-off JOSE CONSTANZA [.350 BA] 2-3, 2 R, 1 2B [2], 1 RBI [7], 1 SB [10].

LHRP JOSE LUGO [2.08 BA] 0.1 IP, zip.

LICEY TIGERS

LHSP YOHAN FLANDE [3.04 ERA] 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 SO.

JUAN FRANCISCO not in the starting line-up for the last regular season game in the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.

VENEZUELA

CARACAS LIONS

RF JOSH KROEGER [.290 BA] 0-3, 1 BB.

ZULIA EAGLES game in the sixth.

1B ERNESTO MEJIA [.305 BA] 1-3.

LF EVAN GATTIS [.283 BA] 0-1, 2 BB, 1 SB [1].

Sambo 4 Rambo

December 21st, 2012
10:55 pm

The kid has already been given a second chance to play baseball for a living. Its a privelege, not a right. His butt should be cut before this article was ever written. Moving on, fingers crossed for Trumboooo!

Voice of Reason

December 22nd, 2012
2:03 am

Maybe we’re going about this all wrong.

Do a youtube search for “doc ellis lsd”

Voice of Reason

December 22nd, 2012
2:05 am

Sambo 4 Rambo: “fingers crossed for Trumboooo!”

I’d be surprised if that happens but I will cross mine with ya!

Concerned Braves' fan

December 22nd, 2012
5:32 am

“We just signed BJ Upton and he was widely known down in Tampa to smoke the stuff frequently. ” – HatchetHerb

So why did Frank Wren sign him? So he can miss a third of the season. Not exactly a role model for our children.

Poor judgement.

Mr Pitts

December 22nd, 2012
8:54 am

‘Trunbo’s the flavor of the day,so I thought I’d mention him again. Can we get some WARs and WHIPs to look at and debate?

Back to Killer Mike.

Gil in Mechanicsville

December 22nd, 2012
9:17 am

It is sad really, the draw to these substances appears to outweigh the possible consequences for this guy.

TeheranTime

December 22nd, 2012
9:18 am

Braves fans are so fickle. Many of the same ones who were calling for the Braves to be “in” on Josh Hamilton fail to remember the sruggles that Hamilton has had are the same as Billy Bullock. You are also the same fans that if or when you fall, you will ask for a second chance. Second chances are not only right but they are a necessity since we are all human beings and we all fall. Talk about hypocrisy!

Rick in Warner Robins

December 22nd, 2012
9:37 am

Suspended? He should be disqualified from ever playing professional baseball again. Two strikes you’re out!

Yuuup

December 22nd, 2012
9:39 am

Besides the Upton signing, this is the biggest news of the Braves offseason. Pretty pathetic huh?

74bravesjersey

December 22nd, 2012
9:45 am

Hey;m I hope they give yepez a look; He’s got decent #’s hitting, good backup, for Laird.

74bravesjersey

December 22nd, 2012
9:48 am

“Jose Yepez” c

74bravesjersey

December 22nd, 2012
9:52 am

Yesterday, I woke up squint’n, wonder’n if I was still here, opened one eye looked around, pinched myself, yep made it past Doomsday, we’re good.

Richard Esposito

December 22nd, 2012
10:43 am

Get rid of him. We don’t need “druggies” playing for us. Our kids have enough trouble finding “good” role models.

WBuckATC

December 22nd, 2012
10:44 am

The guy the Braves in essence traded (Rule 5 swap) for Billy B. is Scott Diamond. This past season the lefty in the bigs with the Twins he was 12-9 with a 3.54 ERA.

least of the east

December 22nd, 2012
10:47 am

this is a GM mistake because we misjudged when we left Diamond off our 40 man roster. that’s what led to Bullock coming to the Braves. the twins knew Bullock couldn’t throw strikes which is why they were willing to send him to the Braves. so Wren and his staff made 2 mistakes.
once he doesn’t get paid for 50 games, I think Bullock will learn his lesson. maybe he can work on his command in his extra time off.

Jed

December 22nd, 2012
11:39 am

oh calm down…. maybe he was caught having pot in his system. which is testable (in small amounts) for up to six weeks. and which, as you should know, is LESS DANGEROUS than the beer you’re probably drinking as you type. would you be so condemning if you found out gattis had had 4 beers on an off day in the dominican republic? of course not. that’s pretty comparable to what yall are condemning this guy for.

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Yuuup

December 22nd, 2012
2:02 pm

Wow did Cody Ross get paid or what? Around 8.5 million a year with the D-Backs.

Bravothusiast

December 22nd, 2012
2:27 pm

I wonder if you can still get suspended for testing positive for pot if you’re a Colorado Rockie?

Yeah, Ross got paid. Glad it wasn’t us paying him all that $$$. The Ross signing makes it even more likely that the D-Backs trade Upton.

KyleH

December 22nd, 2012
3:01 pm

The Diamondbacks need to trade an OF after signing Cody Ross. Parra could be a good fit for the Braves to play left and bat leadoff. He is left handed though. Then there’s also Kubel or Justin Upton

Yuuup

December 22nd, 2012
3:36 pm

Kyle,

Wren is on record saying that if he gets a leadoff hitter that it does’t really matter if he is a LHH or RHH. Parra would be a good addition to this team, but I have a feeling that Wren and company are going to do their usual, throw sh@t against the wall and hope like hell it sticks method with a platoon at not 1, but 2 different positions this year.

I really thought this was the year that the Braves were going to bend over backwards to try and increase the attendance, but that is not likely to happen now. Regardless if Chipper is past his HOF numbers or not, he is still a huge Atlanta Braves Icon, and he is not here anymore. Most of the fan attendance last year was because Chipper announced in ST that it was his last season, otherwise I believe that the attendance would have been down last year as well.

The fact that they have money to spend, and losing a few Fan Favorites, and doing nothing to replace them, that is mind boggling. The fan attendance has been down for the past decade or so, do they really think that by losing guys like Chipper, Ross, and Bourn and replacing them with guys like Francisco, Upton, and Laird will get fans wanting to spend their hard earned money? If so, I think they are in for a rude awakening. In fact, if they go into the season with their current plans, I will not be spending money on the MLB Package this year. Sick of them going the cheap route and hoping like hell it works, this year they don’t have the lack of money to use as an excuse.

Felix

December 22nd, 2012
4:05 pm

Great! Just great!

Atlanta Braves 2013

December 22nd, 2012
4:34 pm

with arizona signing ross, time to trade for kubel…30 hr 90 rbi, only 3 errors as OF….go go for him

Yuuup

December 22nd, 2012
8:37 pm

Braves aren’t smart enough to trade for Kubel. They would rather give up prospects for the 1 year rental player and Scott Boras client in Choo. They even failed that one, which is good considering Choo hits free agency a year from now.

The fact of the matter is that they still have plenty of money left and will be one of the few teams that have platoons at 2 different positions next year. Pretty sad when you have a huge need and you fill it the worst possible way. That is Atlanta Braves baseball folks.

Larry30

December 22nd, 2012
11:32 pm

This guy is the joker, and Schafer is the toker. Braves on a roll. Go, Frank, go!

Larry30

December 22nd, 2012
11:40 pm

@yuuup, I’ve never let them get away with the lack of payroll excuse. Tampa is always competitive with half the payroll wren has to work with. It’s a matter of getting your money’s worth. When you throw away millions on players like Lowe, mclouth, kawakami, uggla, McCann, and now upton, he has no one to blame but himself. He learned from the master of throwing away talent and money. 6 player trades for rent a player and $4 million for albie Lopez to sit the bench one year. Our front office is the weak link of this organization.

Ken Stallings

December 23rd, 2012
12:36 am

A 50-game suspension for a minor leaguer is essentially a career killer.

Not much excuse he can offer. Two strikes makes it hard for him to recover and it wouldn’t shock anyone if the Braves cut him.

WigWamWisps

December 23rd, 2012
6:43 am

Be wary of trying to work out a deal with the Diamondbacks. Kevin Towers over-values his players and demands too much for them. I would love to see Atlanta add someone who would be a daily contributor to the offense in left field but not at the expense of being ripped off by Towers. When Atlanta approached them about Justin Upton, he wanted the Braves farm system basically. As it stands right now, I see Atlanta going with internal options in left field this season.

Packer Ed

December 23rd, 2012
6:58 am

Can someone please help this fine boy get a job in Colorado and/or the state of Washington?

Yuuup

December 23rd, 2012
12:55 pm

Larry30,

I agree. While both Scheurholz and Wren have done some good things in their GM tenures, they have also done some very stupid things. Going the cheapest way possible despite having payroll flexibility is exactly that for me. They have used the lack of payroll funds as excuses before for not signing a player or trading for one, yet here they are using the same excuses this year despite having the money to spend. Not really optimistic about next season at all, I believe this will be a tired ass team with the same old tired ass routine.

ryan

December 23rd, 2012
2:51 pm

Well LF market has dried up for Braves very disappointed that Wren was not aggressive i guess i am not surprised that Wren did not do any thing else after getting Upton oh well .

Laughing out Loud

December 23rd, 2012
6:10 pm

I’ve got a smashing idea: With all the money the Braves management has, they ought to hire blogger Yuuup to be the General Manager and Braves President, but let’s don’t stop there maybe we could elect him President of these United States of America! But, let’s start small, give him the Braves to field a team that puts fans (with their money) in the stands! Can we start a grass roots effort to bring this wise and able person to the helm of Braves team. Yuuup will guarantee vast success on the field and off the field. LOL!

longtimefan

December 23rd, 2012
8:31 pm

@LOL. I agree. Yuuup has been beating that same drum for the last couple of months. It’s getting old. FW has done a very good job fielding a competitive team while not trading away our future. Despite what I keep reading about the “cheap” Braves ownership, they are right in the middle of the 30 team pack in payroll. I, for one, am glad FW did not sign or trade for many of the players available just to make a move. Many were overhyped, one year rentals or were not an upgrade over our in house options. If we don’t give some of our players a look how will we know if they can really play. Francisco has slimmed down, has a plus arm and power. Gattis could be a real MLB power hitter. Every star in the game started as a rookie. Give these guys a long look for a half a year and, if needed, make a move at the break. One thing I know for sure-FW and the remainder of the Braves brain trust know their players better, can assess talent better and understand the future direction of the organization to a significant degree more than any fan or blogger.

STEELY DAN MAN

December 23rd, 2012
9:13 pm

Well said, longtimefan !!!! ….. Can’t wait to see Gattis

longtimefan

December 23rd, 2012
10:02 pm

Case in point. Several fans above clamor for FW to trade for Kubel. Why is he a better option than a platoon of Gattis/Francisco? Many of the “experts” on these blogs continually point to Uggla and Uptons strikeouts- but Kubel is right there with them with 151 last year. He is a below average defender which is why he may be shopped around, despite his 30 jacks. He is owed 7.5M each of the next two years. Do we want another lefty hitter in our lineup? There is a very good probability that Gattis against lefties and Francisco against righties would produce close to 30HR and 90RBI for the league minimum while not giving up a good prospect or two and enabling us to see if one or both of these guys are going to make it. Don’t trade just for a new name. It’s not necessarily better.

Yuuup

December 23rd, 2012
10:17 pm

There are plenty on here that voice their opinion on not liking the direction the Braves are taking, but call me out? Please, get a f’n life you nimwits. If you want the Braves to go with 2 platoons next season, then that is your perogative, not mine. I would really like to know what your guys infactuation is with Francisco? What has he done to warrant being the starting 3B here? I am all for Gattis getting a shot at LF, but Prado then needs to be the everyday 3B, none of this platooning crap. Maybe you guys can be the GM, and the President seeing as though you are so f’n intelligent. Looks like if that happened the Braves would be the exact same chokers they have been for the past decade. What’s wrong with wanting your team to win the WS for a change? No, let’s platoon everywhere and bow out in the wild card game or first round like usual. It’s casual fans like yourselves that don’t have a clue.

cornjolio

December 23rd, 2012
10:34 pm

Yuuup, I concur. Some of these homers are nauseating. Too much Koolaid being guzzled from the fountain of Schuerholz & Wren. If you disagree with someone position or suggestion, don’t make it personal. Agree to disagree.

How about Lorenzo Cain in LF ? I can’t get excited about Gattis. Everyone looks like Babe Ruth against low level minor league pitching.

I have doubts about Upton, Uggla & McCann having big years in 2013. Yeah Uggla hit 37 homers in 2011 but he also didn’t hit most of that season, due to the hitting streak which inflated his numbers.

Ken Stallings

December 24th, 2012
1:36 am

Every good player started out. Francisco has a lot of potential and had a hall of famer in front of him. It is possible that he can emerge as a quality starting third baseman next season. He was highly regarded by the Reds who also had an outstanding third baseman ahead of him.

Reports are that he’s seized the chance by getting himself in excellent physical condition and is working hard to refine his swing. Further, what he showed with his limited AB’s last season showed promise.

If you go through history you see many examples of excellent teams that played platoons. The Braves did it many times during the heyday of the 90’s and it worked pretty good. The Big Red Machine even worked a platoon in their outfield and I don’t recall it hurting them any!

Now, that’s not an infactuation. Rather, it is a sober and fact-based analysis of the situation. The Braves have seemed to seriously explore all trade and acquisition options and the trade market at least was simply unhelpful — with teams over-pricing their outfielders.

Giving someone a chance isn’t bad management. Further, Gattis may not be ready and I think his managers and coaches know his potential better than we do. Further, I give every chance that if Gattis pulls off the second coming of Rafael Furcal, he’ll be the surprise story and crack the roster.

Mark

December 24th, 2012
9:12 am

Release this drug user that knows he can’t cut it without PEDS and call the last guy we released back that was clean.

Cmon Braves. Stand up for something right. If we have guys that use PEDs release them!!!

longtimefan

December 24th, 2012
10:25 am

How does a total stranger on these pages determine who is a casual fan? Crystal ball? Intuition. Tarot cards? Mighty presumptive.

Chief Smoke-a-Bowl

December 24th, 2012
10:48 am

This Brave Bullock Smokem too many Peace Pipe!

Steve Miller

December 24th, 2012
10:55 am

Hey Larry30……………your’e right……..Schafer is a smoker and a Toker and Bullock is the Midnight Joker!

Yuuup

December 24th, 2012
12:42 pm

cornjolio
December 23rd, 2012
10:34 pm,

I haven’t really checked the stats on Lorenzo Cain to be honest with you. Could be the fit the Braves need in a leadoff hitter at LF’er, but again I haven’t looked at his stats. I will check that out. As for Gattis, he has raw power and from what I have read, a lot of heart. Sure Francisco has raw power as well, but he has been labeled a fat, lazy player that admires his HR’s instead of doing things the admirable way, why have that on this team starting along with his 150 or so strikeouts? No thanks.

Yuuup

December 24th, 2012
12:46 pm

longtimefan
December 24th, 2012
10:25 am,

Nope, none of that. Now the not caring what the team does, wanting a nobody to start at 3B, and LF is what makes you people casual fans. I am 35 and grew up in Florida and went to Braves ST every year as a kid. I have been a fan all my life, and want this team to win their division and go deep in the playoffs every year. You were probably one of the “fans” that last year said, “Oh well, at least they had 94 wins and made the wildcard game, better then a lot of teams, there is always next year”

That is a casual fan. I am a diehard that gets pissed when they fail, that is what a real fan does.

major

December 26th, 2012
12:28 pm

What’s a yuuup ?

major

December 26th, 2012
12:36 pm

Uh … yuuup !!! ….. who died and made you braves blog police ….. we all love the braves and we all have our opinions on what we would like done but for you to be so dismissive of other ppl thoughts is repulsively yuuuppy.

Michael Nales

December 26th, 2012
1:16 pm

jbill

December 27th, 2012
1:19 am

Another Schafer in Braves organization…how many more will Braves keep and so call get help for.. Damn joke..both need to be gone. Bad example for kids and fans.

Tom in ATL

December 27th, 2012
12:51 pm

I know! Let’s go get Matt Kemp, Shane VIctorino, Andre Either, Adrian Gonzalez, Clayton Kershaw, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Hanley Ramiriz, And then sign Zack Grienke!! Woo-hoo – we’d be unstoppable!

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MiaBchBravesFan

December 30th, 2012
5:41 pm

Wudduya expect from a freakin’ gator.

LONGTIMEBRAVE

January 1st, 2013
12:11 pm

this is the guy that we traded scott diamond for another brilliant wren move

74bravesjersey

February 23rd, 2013
3:35 pm

AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!! Anyone? Anyone? Buehler? Buehler? Anyone?

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