Phillies right-hander Alec Asher, who has spent most of the season with the club’s Triple-A affiliate, has been suspended 80 games for after testing positive for a testosterone-related performance enhancing drug, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). The specific substance in question, Shaikin adds (Twitter link), is Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone — the same substance for which Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello and Phillies reliever Daniel Stumpf each tested positive earlier this season.
Asher, 24, was acquired by the Phillies alongside Jerad Eickhoff, Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams and Jake Thompson in exchange for Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman in last July’s blockbuster trade with the Rangers. He made seven starts for the Phillies in 2015 but struggled, allowing 30 runs in 29 innings of work. This season, he’s posted a 2.30 ERA with 5.8 K/9 against 1.2 BB/9 in 54 2/3 innings of work between the team’s Double-A and Triple-A affiliates, though he’s been on the minor league disabled list since mid-May.
Asher currently rates 26th among Phillies farmhands, per Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. He didn’t crack Baseball America’s offseason top 30, and ESPN’s Keith Law noted (Insider subscription required) that Asher profiled as a reliever when looking at the Phillies’ top prospects prior to the season. Callis and Mayo note that his ceiling is that of a back-of-the-rotation starter thanks to solid control, a low-90s fastball that can touch 95-96 and a pair of potentially average (but currently inconsistent) secondary offerings.