Phillies Pitcher Elniery Garcia Suspended 80 Games, Opening Up 40-man Roster Spot

Phillies minor-league pitcher Elniery Garcia on Friday was suspended 80 games for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Garcia, 22, is on the Phillies' 40-man roster.

He went 12-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 20 appearances (19 starts) last season for High-A Clearwater.

This is a notable suspension for the Phillies because it opens up a spot on their 40-man roster -- suspended players go on the restricted list, which does not count against the 40. The same thing happened early last season with since-traded pitcher Alec Asher.

The Phillies have a crowded 40-man roster and will need to add prospects like J.P. Crawford and Rhys Hoskins to it after the season.

The 40-man roster opening does not, however, shouldn't immediately affect the Phillies' plans in replacing injured starting pitcher Clay Buchholz. All five main candidates to replace Buchholz in the rotation -- Zach Eflin, Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Jake Thompson and Mark Appel -- are already on the 40.

These 80-game PED suspension are nothing new to the Phillies. The following players have also been suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs:

2016: RHP Alec Asher, LHP Daniel Stumpf

2014: LHP Antonio Bastardo

2012: SS Freddy Galvis, C Carlos Ruiz (Adderall)

2009: LHP J.C. Romero

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