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Blue Jays takeaways: With Orelvis Martinez's suspension, a season goes from bad to worse

·4 mins

As though this baseball team’s season hadn’t been disappointing enough, news of a top prospect’s 80-game suspension for violating the sport’s drug policy added another layer to a growing collection of things gone wrong.

The team’s weekend got even worse as they were swept by their opponents after losing the final game. It’s the second straight sweep the team has suffered, and their losing streak is up to a season-high six.

The young prospect, who made his debut on Friday, began his suspension immediately and will be ineligible to play until the final week of the regular season. Both the team’s general manager and manager expressed their disappointment in the suspension while offering their continued support to the player.

Losing the prospect under these circumstances is the latest dispiriting development in a season that has had a few of them. Let’s consider some takeaways on the suspension and a season teetering on the brink of disaster. Where does the prospect go from here?

In a day, the prospect went from the high of recording his first hit in his debut to the low of learning he had received a suspension.

The team learned of the player’s circumstances on Saturday when he met with team officials. The player tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance. He said in a statement that the drug was prescribed to him by a doctor. He did not disclose that he was taking the drug, a decision he called a ‘mistake.’

A suspension of this nature is incredibly disappointing for the prospect, who was considered a top talent and a ray of hope in what’s becoming a dark season. It also comes at a time when the prospect had an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the sport and potentially play a bigger role.

The team had called up the prospect to fill in for an injured player, and they had hoped that even if this call-up was short-lived, it would be a useful learning experience for the player’s development. Now, instead of continuing his development, the prospect will be at a team training facility, where he will ‘focus on how he can improve as a player and a teammate.’ Where does the team go from here?

The prospect was part of the recent youth movement the team has embraced amid a search for offensive improvement.

The team has called up several of their best prospects, but now they can’t rely on the prospect who received the suspension to give their lineup a lift. That means if the team is going to salvage this season, it’ll need to come from the players already on the roster.

To recap recent events:

• They have lost six in a row after being swept by their opponents. • They lost their top hitting prospect to an 80-game suspension. • Their closer was shut down from his throwing program after experiencing soreness. • Their starting shortstop is injured. • A starting player was lost to season-ending surgery.

All of this is on top of the fact that the team has one of the lowest-scoring offenses in the sport and their bullpen ranks poorly. They are currently 6 1/2 games out of a playoff spot.

‘To be at this point has been a disappointment for everyone in the clubhouse. We are frustrated. We are disappointed as well,’ said a team official. ‘We know the fans’ disappointment. We share that. It has been a very difficult time when you have the expectations and you’re not fulfilling them.’

The playoff race remains crowded, with several teams vying for spots, but the team has effectively given away any margin for error they had. Their playoff odds are down to a single-digit percentage.

‘There’s still time for us to get things turned around,’ said the team official. ‘It’s dependent upon a win streak, obviously. But we’re still capable of that. Frustrated, disappointed. I look inward. I don’t feel disappointment toward individuals other than myself.’

While a winning streak could alter their situation, given the state of their roster and the lack of recent success, there is not much evidence to suggest a winning streak is around the corner. At most, the team has a couple of weeks to show some signs of life before they will need to decide on their approach at the deadline.

For now, the suspension has made a bad season feel worse.