Suspended Brewers pitching prospect Jeremy Jeffress is eligible for reinstatement on Friday but his return to the mound will probably be delayed by a minor arm injury, assistant general manager Gord Ash said.
Barring any rainouts at Class A Brevard County in the coming days, Jeffress’ 100-game ban expires on May 21. He might have been able to hit the ground running at Brevard County if not for a bout of tightness in his right forearm that developed last week at extended Spring Training camp in Phoenix.
Jeffress, Milwaukee’s first-round pick in the 2006 Draft, was suspended last June under the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, his third failed test for a “drug of abuse.” One more violation would result in a lifetime ban.
Unlike the Major League program, which strictly adheres to performance-enhancing drugs and amphetamines, Minor League players also can be suspended for using drugs like marijuana, cocaine and others. Jeffress has admitted in the last that he had a problem with marijuana, but he has been through a series of treatment programs during his suspension and has fulfilled all of his obligations, according to Ash.
“He has been very, very good about it,” Ash said.
Jeffress will resume his career at Brevard County when he’s ready, and the Brewers would like to promote him to Double-A Huntsville at some point soon thereafter. Club officials will face a decision after the season, when Jeffress must be placed on the 40-man roster or be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft.