ARLINGTON -- Outfielder Jamal Strong on Tuesday became the first player on the Mariners' 40-man roster to be suspended for violating the Major League Baseball Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The 26-year-old, currently playing for the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers, began the suspension Tuesday night.
"The Mariners organization is extremely disappointed that one of our players has violated the Major League Baseball Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," club officials said in a prepared statement. "This result is very upsetting. At the same time, we support baseball's efforts to address this issue, because the only way to eliminate the use of banned substances is an effective testing program."
Strong becomes the fourth player on MLB rosters to test positive for steroids this season. The positive test is believed to have taken place after the start of the regular season.
General manager Bill Bavasi, who is with the Mariners in Arlington, said, "We're disappointed, but that's what the testing is for. This is how we are going to clear the whole thing up."
Bavasi said the he understands that Strong can still work out with the Rainiers during the suspension but is not allowed to be in uniform or in the dugout during the game.
Club president Chuck Armstrong declined to offer any specifics on the test. "This is unlike Minor League suspensions," he said. "We have been advised to refer all questions to the Commissioner's office."
The Mariners' sixth-round draft choice in 2000, Strong has played in 12 games for the Rainiers this season, going 12-for-51 (.235) with no home runs and three RBIs. He also committed three errors while mostly playing center field.
Strong played in 12 games with the Mariners in 2003, going 0-for-2. He spent all of the 2004 season at Triple-A Tacoma, batting .305 in 64 games with three home runs and 24 RBIs.
Strong competed for a reserve outfield job with the Mariners during Spring Training, going 11-for-39 (.231) with no home runs and four RBIs in Cactus League action.
Earlier this season, the Mariners had eight non-40-man roster players suspended for 15 games for violating the policy.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.