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BayBears pitcher Eric Smith suspended for 50 games
NEW YORK, New York -- Mobile BayBears pitcher Eric Smith has been suspended for 50 games for a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Smith was suspended without pay for a second violation for a drug of abuse, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today. Smith, 24, is 1-3 with a 7.11 earned-run average and three saves in 33 games - all but one in relief - for the BayBears this season. Smith hadn't pitched since Friday, when he gave up three runs in one-third of an inning against Montgomery. The BayBears had placed Smith on the seven-day disabled list with a knee contusion on Tuesday with Bryan Woodall coming back from Reno to join the Mobile bullpen. On Thursday, Mobile placed Smith on the restricted list. Smith is in his second season with Mobile. He came up from Single-A Visalia last season and made 30 appearances out of the bullpen for the BayBears' 2012 Southern League championship team. Last season, Smith was 3-2 with a 4.29 ERA. In 70 innings over two seasons for Mobile, Smith has struck out 50 and walked 49. Players are typically issued a warning after an initial positive test for a drug of abuse and suspended for a second offense, according to milb.com. Minor league players who test positive for a performance-enhancing drug are subject to an immediate 50-game suspension. The drug program considers cocaine, marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy and other opiates among its drugs of abuse. The program does not disclose which drug triggered a suspension. There have been 33 suspensions this year under the minor league drug program, and Smith is the second Southern League player suspended this week for a drug-of-abuse violation. Montgomery catcher Mark Thomas was suspended on Tuesday.