Agent: Jeffress "in tremendous spirits"
Suspended Brewers pitching prospect Jeremy Jeffress celebrated his 22nd birthday Monday with his agent, Josh Kusnick, amid a 100-game suspension. Kusnick posted an update about Jeffress on his Twitter account, @39ontheline.
with Jeremy Jeffress for his Bday,” Kusnick wrote. “All is very well and he is in
tremendous spirits. Thanks to all for the support. 2010 will be big.”
If my count was correct when Jeffress was suspended in June, his suspension for a drug of abuse will cover the first 34 games of next season. The Brewers will have to add Jeffress to the 40-man roster following the 2010 campaign or expose him to the Rule 5 Draft.
Because of that roster consideration, had Jeffress not been suspended he could have been a strong candidate for a September call-up next year. The flamethrowing right-hander, Milwaukee’s first-round Draft pick in 2006, began the 2009 season two steps away at Double-A Huntsville before a demotion to Class A Brevard County, where he was pitching well when the suspension came down. Assuming he would have made it back to Huntsville by the end of this year, he might have started there again in 2010 and been promoted at some point to Triple-A Nashville, one step away from the Majors.
Now, after missing nearly a year, Jeffress might have to start over at a low-level affiliate and work his way up. With one more suspension, he would face a lifetime ban from baseball.
UPDATE – Talked with Josh yesterday afternoon, and he said Jeffress’ sister will be with him next year in Spring Training. I’m sure the family support will be helpful for a young man trying to get back on track.