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Chicago Cubs pitcher Luiz Escanio has been suspended for 144 games for a positive test for a metabolite of Boldenone, his second violation of baseball's minor league drug program.

 

Escanio, a right-hander who turned 24 on July 1, was suspended for 72 games on June 18 last year following a positive test for Stanozolol metabolites. He returned and was 3-1 with a 1.45 ERA this year for the Dominican Summer League Cubs2.

 

His latest suspension was announced Wednesday.

 

On Monday, San Francisco outfielder Chuckie Jones was suspended for 100 games for a third positive test for a drug of abuse. Jones was suspended for 50 games on April 9 last year following his second positive test for a drug of abuse.

 

He was on the voluntarily retired list and has not played this season.

 

There have been 66 suspensions this year under the minor league drug program and 13 under the major league program.

 

>>Astors Cut Ties With OF Gomez

 

The Astros on Wednesday designated center fielder Carlos Gomez for assignment. That means the team has 10 days to release Gomez or seven days to put him on waivers for purposes of trading him or outrighting him to the minors with his consent.

 

While the move comes as a surprise, Gomez has indeed struggled badly in 2016. In his age-30 season, Gomez has hit .210/.272/.322 (63 OPS+) in 85 games this season. Over that span, he's hit just five home runs. Gomez showed signs of decline last season, but as recently as 2014 he was competing at an All-Star level. He's in the final year of a three-year, $24 million contract and is owed the balance of a $9 million salary for 2016.

 

The Astros originally acquired Gomez in a trade with the Brewers leading up to the 2015 non-waiver deadline. That deal sent four prospects to Milwaukee and also landed Mike Fiers in Houston.

 

For the time being, Jake Marisnick figures to hold down center field for the Astros. To take Gomez's place on the roster, the Astros have recalled right-hander Jandel Gustave.

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