Three Jays' Minor Leaguers suspended

Three Jays' Minor Leaguers suspended

TORONTO -- Three Blue Jays prospects are currently serving suspensions for violating the Minor League drug-testing policy. The violations happened last year, but the penalties carried over to this season. The offending players are Julius Matos, Raul Tablado and Brian Reed.

"Hopefully, they've learned a lesson from it. They've been educated by us -- before it happened and after it happened," said J.P. Ricciardi, Toronto's general manager. "They've been told the ramifications. They made a mistake, and I think they know it. Hopefully, these guys won't be repeat offenders."

Tablado, a shortstop at the Double-A level, was the most prominent of the three prospects. The former fourth-round pick blossomed last season, hitting 21 homers and getting named by Baseball America as one of 12 Breakout Players in the Minor Leagues. He served part of his suspension last season and is currently serving the rest of it.

Matos is a utilityman for Triple-A Syracuse and a veteran of 104 games in the big leagues. Reed, a right-handed pitcher, was a 2003 draft pick and a 2004 All-Star in the Class A South Atlantic League. He allowed just one run in 26 innings (0.35 ERA) before a promotion to the Florida State League.

Ricciardi said he wasn't clear on exactly what the players tested positive for, and he emphasized that he hasn't heard the results of the Spring Training drug tests for Florida-based teams. When those come out, Ricciardi said he wouldn't be surprised to see more familiar names on the list.

"I'm anticipating that something's going to happen," he said. "It's such a broad range they're testing for. We'd be naive to think otherwise."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.