The Nationals organization announced midday Saturday that right-hander Josh Wilkie had been suspended 50 games for use of a banned substance. Wilkie has been pitching for Triple-A Syracuse and was reportedly “disappointed and embarrassed” by the suspension.
According to details passed along by Byron Kerr of MASN, Wilkie was informed that the suspension was due to a chemical component of something called Spice, which is typically rolled with a flavored tobacco. Kerr adds that while the substance is not illegal, there are an increasing number of states that are banning its sale.
Wilkie first signed with the Nationals as a 21 year old prior to the 2006 season. Since 2009 he has been stuck at Triple-A, however, where he’s made 140 appearances including one start. In 169.1 innings of work in that span he holds a 9-14 record and 3.03 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9.
The 27 year old sounds as though he’s at least taking the suspension maturely, thanks to a text message he sent Kerr after the suspension was announced:
I’m very disappointed and embarrassed. It is my responsibility to check and re-check whatever it is I put into my body and in this case I failed to do the proper research … I will rebound from this and hopefully with another opportunity can prove myself as a competitive successful pitcher in the Nationals organization. I am going to continue to stay in shape and pitch and be ready when the suspension is up.