Blue Jays' Orelvis Martinez gets 80-game ban for PED violation

Toronto Blue Jays infielder Orelvis Martinez was suspended 80 games Sunday for violating Major League Baseball's performance-enhancing drug policy, just two days after his big league debut.

Martinez, 22, is the Blue Jays' top hitting prospect and was called up last week after shortstop Bo Bichette was placed on the injured list. Martinez tested positive for clomiphene, a fertility drug on the league's banned substance list.

In a statement, Martinez said he had spent the past two years trying to start a family with his girlfriend and was prescribed Rejun 50, a clomiphene tablet, over the winter after visiting a fertility clinic in his native Dominican Republic.

"We wanted to keep this matter private, even within our family, and trusted the doctor who assured us this treatment did not include performance-enhancing drugs," Martinez said in the statement. "Therefore, I made the mistake of not disclosing this to my team or the MLBPA.

"With that said, I took full responsibility for my negligence and accepted my suspension."

Martinez signed with the Blue Jays for $3.5 million in 2018 and emerged as one of the best power-hitting prospects in the minor leagues. Before his debut, in which he played second base and went 1-for-3, Martinez had hit 16 home runs in 63 games at Triple-A. Over the three previous seasons, he hit 86 home runs and drove in 257 runs.

"We were both surprised and disappointed to learn of Orelvis Martinez's suspension," Blue Jays executive vice president and general manager Ross Atkins said in a statement. "We will do everything in our power to ensure Orelvis has learned from his mistake.

"Orelvis has our support, and we know he will get through this."

Martinez will be eligible to return to the team for the final six games of the regular season but is ineligible for any postseason games this year.

"Orelvis was upset, disappointed and pretty honest for a young kid when he told us," Blue Jays manager John Schneider said Sunday. "He's obviously humbled and knows he made a mistake. We're going to support him through the process."

Martínez will lose about half his salary. His contract calls for $740,000 while in the major leagues and $120,600 while in the minors, both the minimum.

At 35-41, Toronto occupies last place in the American League East. The Blue Jays rank 27th in the majors in runs scored (291) and could consider dealing away top players as the July 30 trade deadline approaches.

Martínez became the eighth player penalized for performance-enhancing drugs this year, the second under the major league program. Noelvi Marte, a 22-year-old infielder who is the Cincinnati Reds' top prospect, was suspended for the first 80 games of the season under the major league program following a positive test for Boldenone.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.