The Padres’ former first round draft pick, Donavan Tate, 20, has been suspended for 50 games due to a positive drug test. The drug test showed that Tate had been using synthetic cannabis best known as “Spice” or “K2”. The effects of “Spice/K2” have the same effects as marijuana. Studies show that the high users get can be four to fives times as potent as THC. It is illegal in some states, but not all. It is especially popular among teenagers who are able to purchase it either online or in head shops.
Tate has decided to participate in a substance abuse counseling program, reducing his suspicion to 25 games, the commissions office announced. He is serving the suspension immediately.
“This is a very talented player and he has never really gotten his career on track,” said Jed Hoyer the Padres general manager. “We still have a lot of hope for him. I think he can be a very good player. But I think he has to get his act together and get on the field. Part of it is clearly dealing with what is a substance-abuse issue, and part of it is being healthy. The combination of the two things, I don’t want to say he has lost two years, but effectively he has and he’s going to have to work hard to get that back.”
Tate signed with the Padres in August of 2009 with a franchise-record $6.25 million signing bonus. The Padres drafted him with the No. 3 overall pick two months earlier. Tate missed the rest of the 2009 season due to sustaining a sports hernia two days after signing. He has also endured a variety of other injuries allowing him to play only 25 games in 2010. The MLB mandates athlete drug testing at a professional level.
In 2011 Tate yet again, suffered another injury when he collided with teammate Everett Williams in the outfield, sustaining a bone bruise in his knee. Tate was sent to Peoria, Ariz., to rehab his injury. Hoyer stated the second positive drug test resulted after Tate arrived in Arizona, in which he began treatment for substance abuse. He returned to Eugene to play five games before the suspension was announced.