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.