While the Phillies spent this week fighting out a tight series against the Marlins, they got a bit of bad news from down in their farm system: AAA second baseman Kevin Frandsen was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for…wait for it…Ritalin.
Frandsen, who is on the roster of the Triple-A team in Lehigh Valley, tested positive for Ritalinic Acid, according to the office of the commissioner.
Last season, Frandsen hit .250 with 14 RBI in 54 games for the Angels.
Ritalin is traditionally prescribed to children suffering from attention deficit disorder, but the drug is also known to be used to boost academic performance, much the same way college students abuse Adderall when cramming for some big psych exam. Ritalin is also used recreationally by people who chop up the pills and snort them. I remember seeing someone do this at college. I walked down to the basement, saw a girl snorting white powder and freaked out because I thought she was doing cocaine. Then someone told me it was “just Ritalin” and I found that even more alarming for some reason. No pharmacist has ever written the words “chop up and snort twice daily” on a prescription label.
What’s odd about Frandsen’s suspension is that Ritalin isn’t known to have any physical benefits, the way steroids and HGH do. If he wasn’t taking Ritalin just to get high, he was probably using it to sharpen his focus at the plate, which I find to be a far more interesting method of artificially enhancing your performance.
Joe Posnanski recently wrote that he thought steroids were gone from baseball forever. And that may be. But perhaps mental enhancers are the next wave because players will always try and find a way. Frandsen has played in the bigs before. I’m sure he didn’t want to stick around AAA any longer than he had to.