Bartolo Colon was scheduled to pitch the opener of Oakland's key three-game series at Tampa Bay. Instead, the Athletics must move forward without the veteran right-hander.
The A's will directly feel the effect of Colon's 50-game suspension for a positive testosterone test Thursday night against the Rays in a matchup of postseason contenders.
Pushing for its first playoff berth since 2006, Oakland (67-56) received a huge blow Wednesday when Colon became the second Bay Area major leaguer in a week to test positive for testosterone. San Francisco All-Star outfielder Melky Cabrera received a 50-game suspension Aug. 15.
The 39-year-old Colon was 10-9 with a 3.43 ERA in 24 starts and a popular teammate during his first season in Oakland. He will miss the rest of the regular season and 10 postseason contests if the A's qualify. Any remaining games would be served in a future season.
"It's a shock,'' teammate Grant Balfour said. "He's a guy that we're definitely relying on right now. I ...