Reds blindsided by top prospect’s shocking lengthy PED suspension

Noelvi Marte will miss some time to begin the 2024 season.

Cincinnati Reds infielder Noelvi Marte fields a groundball
Cincinnati Reds infielder Noelvi Marte fields a groundball / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

It's a good thing the Cincinnati Reds signed Jeimer Candelario. Mark Feinsand of MLB Network is reporting that Cincinnati's top prospect, Noelvi Marte has been suspended for 80 games due to violating Major League Baseball's drug policy.

Feinsand reports that Marte tested positive for Boldenone, which is a performance enhancing drug. This is a major blow to the Reds hopes of contending in 2024, but if there's one team that has the depth to withstand this type of news, it's Cincinnati.

The Reds added Candelatio this offseason on a three-year, $45 million deal that many fans were critical of at the time. That deal may well save the Reds' playoff chances, and the decision to keep Jonathan India around may help offset the lost of Marte as well.

Reds blindsided by top prospect’s shocking lengthy suspension

Marte has barely played this spring after recovering from a hamstring injury he suffered playing winter ball. But the 22-year-old was expected to be a key piece of the Reds infield in 2024. Third base duties will likely fall to Candelario, though Elly De La Cruz and Christian Encarnacion-Strand could see some time at the hot corner as well.

Marte is ranked as one of the Top 100 prospects in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, and was thought to be a candidate for the National League Rookie of the Year Award. That opportunity has gone up in flames, and the Reds' chances in the NL Central certainly took a hit as well.

The last notable Reds player to be busted for PED use was former pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez. The right-hander received an 80-game suspension during the 2020 season, but due to 60-game schedule that year, Gutierrez's punishment bled into his 2021 campaign. Gutierrez tested positive for for Stanozolol, which like Boldenone, is a performance enhancing drug.

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