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Oakland’s Frankie Montas Handed 80-Game Suspension by MLB

Major League Baseball has handed starting pitcher Frankie Montas of the Oakland Athletics an 80-game suspension after the right-hander tested positive for Ostarine a performance-enhancing substance that is banned.

Montas, who is 26, was having his best season since entering the majors. The right-hander was 9.2 with an ERA of 2.70, 97 strikeouts and 21 walks. Montas cannot return to the A’s until late September and will not be eligible for any postseason action upon his return.

After testing positive, Montas argued he had taken a tainted substance he purchased over the counter that was not intended to help his performance on the field. While Montas’ argument seemed credible, the A’s pitcher opted against making an appeal of the suspension and accepted the first-time standard penalty of an 80-game suspension for banned substances.

The right-hander has been Oakland’s best pitcher this season and was a legitimate candidate for the All-Star Game prior to his suspension. Oakland is 40-36 and one game behind the Boston Red Sox for the second American League wildcard spot.

Oakland will soon have plenty of starting pitching to choose from in Montas’ absence. The A’ top pitching prospect Jesus Luzardo will make a second start in Triple-A this week after missing the first two months of the season due to shoulder problems.

Lefthander A.J. Puk is pitching in High-A to increase pitch count following last spring’s Tommy John surgery and Sean Manaea, last season’s ace of the A’s staff, is closing in on beginning a rehab assignment after September 2018 shoulder surgery.

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