Washington Nationals: Emmanuel Burriss Receives 50 Game Suspension

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Mar 17, 2017; Jupiter, FL, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Emmanuel Burriss (16) is late on tagging out Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon (9) at second base during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 17, 2017; Jupiter, FL, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Emmanuel Burriss (16) is late on tagging out Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon (9) at second base during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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Yesterday, Washington Nationals minor league infielder Emmanuel Burriss was suspended 50 games for a positive drug test

As the minor league rosters were announced for all of the Washington Nationals affiliates yesterday, a big piece of news dropped on the player who was going to be the shortstop at triple-A Syracuse, Emmanuel Burriss. Burriss was suspended 50 games by Major League for a second positive drug test:

Burriss was signed to a minor league deal by the Washington Nationals this spring and got a non-roster invite to spring training. In 18 spring training games, he hit .241 with a pair of RBI’s before being sent back to minor league camp.

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With Burriss suspended for the first 50 games of the season, it means that someone else will be the starting shortstop when the Syracuse Chiefs begin their season Thursday afternoon at 2:05 p.m ET against the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins).

If you look at the Syracuse Chiefs initial roster, two names stand out as players who can play some shortstop. Those two players are Irving Falu and Grant Green.

Falu has played 576 combined games at shortstop at both the Major League and minor league level. The 33-year-old signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals earlier this winter. Last season, he hit .267 with four home runs and 21 RBI’s in 46 games for triple-A Omaha (Kansas City Royals).

As for Green, he had a bad spring if you look solely at the numbers. He hit .162 in 20 games with a home run and five RBI’s. However, he has been known to do well at the triple-A level. In five seasons at triple-A, he has a career batting average of .313 with 43 home runs and 265 RBI’s. Last season, he hit .319 and drove in 52 runs for Sacramento (San Francisco Giants).

Once the Washington Nationals do need a fifth starter or a long man, a name to watch for the starting shortstop spot at Syracuse is Wilmer Difo.

Difo has only played in one career triple-A game. He could be a player that the Nats decide needs to play everyday at shortstop rather than be a third infielder on the bench once Anthony Rendon is healthy.

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All in all, it’s a sad situation for Burriss and everyone should hope that he gets the help that he needs.

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