SEATTLE — Tim Beckham’s 2019 season is over.
On Tuesday morning, Major League Baseball announced the Seattle Mariners infielder/outfielder has been suspended for 80 games, effective immediately, after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol.
Beckham started as the Mariners’ Opening-Day starting shortstop and put up prodigious numbers at the plate early in the season. But with that came a myriad of errors in the field. He eventually lost his starting job to J.P. Crawford and watched his playing time and production at the plate steadily dwindle as the season wore on.
He was a candidate to be designated for assignment in the coming days, which might have been a blessing to find more playing time. But now, he won’t be allowed to play for any team.
Beckham had a slash line of .237/.293/.461 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) with 21 doubles, one triple, 15 home runs and 47 RBI. In the first month of the season, Beckham had a .282/.352/.527 line with nine doubles, six homers and 19 RBI in 30 games.
But his defense was abysmal, and the Mariners’ desire to put Crawford, their shortstop of the future, in the spot every day cost Beckham a job that was never completely his to begin with. That decision left Beckham upset. Over the next two months, he played sporadically, posting a .176/.208/.384 line with eight doubles, six homers and 18 RBI in 38 games in May and June. After accepting his situation and getting more playing time in the outfield and at first base, Beckham had a solid July, posting a .311/.382/.557 line with four doubles, one triple, three homers and 10 RBI in 18 games.
The Mariners released their traditional statement used for drug suspensions:
“The Seattle Mariners are disappointed that Tim Beckham has violated the terms Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Our organization fully supports the Program and its efforts to eliminate performance-enhancing substances from our game. Per the Basic Agreement, the Mariners will have no further comment.”
Beckham released a statement through the Major League Baseball Players Association, saying he received a tainted supplement and had appealed the suspension, but was denied by an independent arbitrator.
“I was recently notified that I had tested positive for Stanozolol, a prohibited substance under MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement. I was given a product from a trusted source, who had advised me that it was safe to take.
“Regrettably, the product was tainted. I exercised my rights under the Joint Drug Agreement and presented my case to an independent arbitrator. While I’m disappointed in the result, I respect the ruling and understand my responsibilities under the Joint Drug Agreement.
“I accept full responsibility for putting myself in this position. I sincerely apologized to the Mariners’ organization, the fans, my teammates and my family for this mistake. I look forward to resuming my career once my suspension has been served.”
Beckham’s time with the Mariners seemed limited prior to the suspension. He was no longer playing in the infield and was trying to fill space in the outfield, a position he had barely played prior to this season. The Mariners were planning to call up outfield prospect Jake Fraley during this homestand, but a sore quad delayed that move. Beckham was a candidate to be designated for assignment to make room for Fraley.
Instead, Dee Gordon, who has been on the IL with a quad strain, will likely be activated soon to take Beckham’s place on the roster.