The Phillies felt really good about the depth of the starting pitching in their farm system — and probably still do. But with Vincent Velasquez sidelined with a bicep injury, recent news from Triple-A Lehigh Valley is not encouraging.
One of their most big-league ready starters, Alec Asher, was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball Thursday for using a testosterone-related performance enhancing drug, reported Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
Asher was one of the highly-touted prospects sent over from the Rangers in last year's Cole Hamels deal (along with Jerad Eickhoff, Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams and Jake Thompson). Asher had a 2.30 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A in 2016, though he had been stuck on the disabled list of late.
No word yet on whether Asher, 24, will appeal his PED suspension.