Blue Jays’ prospect, right-handed pitcher Clinton Hollon, had his major league dreams put on hold yet again after Major League Baseball announced that he had tested positive for amphetamines and had been given a 50-game suspension.
Hollon, 20, was “devastated,” according to manager Ken Huckaby and has already seen his development delayed once after he underwent Tommy John surgery last year, losing the whole 2014 season. His injury woes go back to his draft year of 2013 when it was discovered that Hollon had been pitching with a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament despite being pain free. After seeing a drop in velocity in extended spring training in 2014, he had the surgery and has been working his way back ever since.
After reporting to the Vancouver Canadians, Hollon, the Blue Jays’ #13 prospect (according to MLB.com), pitched well, posting a 3.18 ERA and 1.15 WHIP over 45 1/3 innings and recently came up to Lansing where he’s posted mixed results with a 4.05 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, striking out only five and walking seven in 13 1/3 innings.
Hollon’s suspension comes at a time where the Lugnuts are heading into the playoffs. Huckaby said that losing Hollon “hurts a little bit. Clint is a good young prospect with a very good arm and, obviously, any time you lose someone like that it hurts but we’ve managed to find a way all year after losing key guys and we’ll continue to do that.”
Hollon’s season was cut short by the suspension and the 50 games means that he won’t be allowed to participate in any meaningful games until well into May of 2016. Lugnuts’ pitching coach Jeff Ware said that he told Hollon “to keep his head up . . . just take this time and make sure you get everything straight for the offseason.”
The Lugnuts will have Tim Mayza pitching in Hollon’s place tonight as they face the Bowling Green Hot Rods at 7:05. Follow along with Jesse Goldberg-Strassler and see www.lansinglugnuts.com for more details.
You can find our interview with Hollon from Spring Training in 2014 here at the Canadian Baseball Network Podcast Episode 45.
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