Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/23/12

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Athletics starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, the former Cy Young award winner and two-time All-Star, won't be around for Oakland's surprising pennant push and news of his 50-game suspension stunned teammates who had come to rely on the popular and dependable veteran.

A week to the day after San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera was hit with a 50-game suspension for testing positive for testosterone, Colon was also suspended for 50-games for testing positive for the same substance.

"It's a shock," Athletics closer Grant Balfour said. "He's a guy that we're definitely relying on right now. I guess you could say it's bad timing any time, but especially now."

The Athletics entered play Wednesday one-half game out of the final wild card spot in the American League and five games behind Texas in the American League West.

Colon was having a resurgent season for the Athletics with a 10-9 record and 3.43 ERA. He leads the team in wins, innings pitched (152.1)

and starts with 24. In those 24 starts, Colon pitched seven or more innings 11 times.

He was scheduled to start at Tampa on Thursday.

"I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A's,"

Colon said in a statement released by the players' association. "I accept responsibility for my actions and I will serve my suspension as required by the joint drug program."

General manager Billy Beane and manager Bob Melvin held a meeting with players Wednesday before the clubhouse was open to media to make the announcement.

Beane had this response, "The A's support the joint drug-policy program put in by both the union and Major League Baseball. Right now, it affects our baseball team and we've got to move forward. We're all disappointed for not just the Giants and the A's, but for baseball."

Melvin plans to use right-hander Tyson Ross, recalled from Triple A-Sacramento, to make Thursday's start. Ross is 2-8 with a 6.35 ERA in 12 starts with Oakland this year and has a 5.16 ERA in 47 big-league appearances overall. The series opener with the Rays will likely be his only start before top prospect Dan Straily can be recalled from Sacramento. The first-round pick in 2009 was optioned August 20 and cannot be called back for 10 days unless the Athletics have an injury requiring a disabled list stint.

"We're fortunate to have depth in starting pitching and now is the time to rely on that depth," Beane added. "I addressed the team. I hope the game itself will take the focus off Colon. We're looking at this game and tomorrow. The loss of any player hurts this time of the year. But we've been a pretty resilient group."

Colon was very popular amongst his teammates and developed a good camaraderie with the pitching staff, and he was also considered a strong postseason option given his experience.

Melvin was encouraged by the start of Brett Anderson who won his first start in more than 14 months in his return from Tommy John surgery Tuesday.

"That is a boost for us, knowing we have another top-of-the-rotation guy," Melvin said. "A guy who has pitched in the big leagues and has a little more experience than some of our other guys. For him to pitch so well his first time out made us feel good going forward."

Colon has a career record of 171-122 in 15 seasons and won the American League Cy Young award for the Angels in 2005 with a record of 21-8.

His one-year deal includes a $2 million salary, of which he will forfeit the remaining $469,945 because of the suspension. He earned $600,000 in performance bonuses.

San Francisco reliever Guillermo Mota received a 100-game suspension for his second positive PED test, Philadelphia infielder Freddy Galvis, and free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd were each suspended 50 games in June for positive drug tests.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

Texas Tech using fake Twitter accounts to track players

Nike creates custom Air Jordan shoes in tribute to Craig Sager

Report: NFL GMs laughing at Chargers for Joey Bosa situation

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Browns wanted ‘second-round pick and then some’ for Gordon

Report: Eric Berry to sign next week, be ready to play in Week 1

Lochte to be summoned to appear in Rio, charged with making false report

Carlos Ruiz traded to Dodgers

Ezekiel Elliott reportedly arrived at training camp overweight

Olympian auctions off medal to help young cancer patient

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

What's missing for each Premier Leauge team?

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

The 20 best boxing movies ever

Will Perriman help Ravens find elusive WR success?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

Can Perriman's return help Ravens find oft-elusive WR success?

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker