NEW YORK — Kansas City Royals outfielder Jorge Bonifacio has been suspended 80 games without pay after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
The commissioner’s office made the announcement Saturday.
Bonifacio was banned after a positive test for Boldenone. The ban will begin on opening day.
“It really kind of made me sick to my stomach,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
The 24-year-old Bonifacio made his major league debut last season, hitting .255 with 17 home runs and 40 RBIs in 113 games.
Kansas City was reshuffling its outfield this spring after Lorenzo Cain left as a free agent, and Bonifacio was competing for playing time in the field and at designated hitter.
“This obviously [is] a very disappointing situation for the Royals, our fans and Jorge. He is an incredible person who simple made a mistake. Jorge will have our full support as he deals with the consequences,” Moore said.
The Royals recently signed free agent outfielder Jon Jay. Paulo Orlando and several others are also trying to earn time.
Bonifacio’s suspension cleared a roster spot for third baseman Mike Moustakas, who re-signed with the Royals this week after becoming a free agent last fall.
Bonifacio is the fourth player suspended this year under the major league drug program. Houston pitcher Dean Deetz, Washington catcher Raudy Read and Pittsburgh pitcher Nik Turley previously were penalized.