New Brewers Catcher Pedro Severino Tests Positive for PEDs

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New Brewers Catcher Pedro Severino Tests Positive for PEDs

Chicago Cubs

While not massive news across the baseball landscape, I would say this is certainly impactful news at the margins in the NL Central. It’s also notable with the Milwaukee Brewers set to open their season in just two days against the Chicago Cubs.

Today, new Brewers catcher Pedro Severino has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for a banned substance, Clomiphene. A fertility drug for women, Clomiphene can alter the testosterone levels in men’s bodies, and has no FDA-approved use for men.

Severino, 28, had been signed early in the offseason to pair with Omar Narvaez and replace outgoing 1B catcher, Manny Piña. The loss of Piña was one of those sneaky challenges that I think the Brewers were facing (he is a top-tier receiver and defensive catcher), but Severino figured to be a pretty capable replacement. He hits lefties well, and the Brewers turned Narvaez into a great receiver, so they probably expected they could do the same with Severino.

Per, the internal replacement options are not great:

The other two catchers currently on the Brewers’ 40-man roster have one game of Major League experience between them. Mario Feliciano, No. 21 on MLB Pipeline’s list of Milwaukee’s top prospects, made a brief Major League debut last season before a right shoulder impingement derailed the rest of his season in the Minors. The Brewers also signed catcher/utility man Brett Sullivan over the winter after he posted a .678 OPS for the Rays’ Triple-A club in 2021. Jackson Reetz, a non-roster invitee, is the other catcher in the system who saw significant time in Major League camp this spring.

You can expect that the Brewers will be aggressively scouring the waiver wire this week, and also looking at veterans who are currently on minor league deals with an approaching opt-out.

Severino released a statement through the players’ association:

“I recently learned that I tested positive for Clomiphene, a prohibited substance under Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

“Since late 2020, my wife and I had been trying to start a family unsuccessfully. When we returned to the Dominican Republic after the 2021 season, we sought medical assistance to determine why we had not succeeded. One of the doctors I consulted with prescribed me with a medication to treat infertility issues. Unfortunately, I now know that the medication contained Clomiphene.

“I accept responsibility for this mistake and have decided not to challenge my suspension. I have been a professional baseball player since I was 16 years old, and I have also been in the big leagues for parts of seven seasons. I have been tested over 100 times in my career and I have never had an issue. In my attempt to start a family, I made a mistake.

“With that said, I want to apologize to the Milwaukee Brewers organization, the staff, my teammates and our fans for letting you down. I hope you guys can accept me back in July and we can have a great second half.”

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.