Right-hander Steve Geltz was hoping to make the Phillies bullpen as a non-roster invitee to big league camp. That’s not going to happen. The 30-year old failed a drug test and will sit out the first 100 games – nearly 2/3 of the season – because it’s his third failed test.
Geltz, who has pitched in the majors for the Los Angeles Angels and Tampa Bay Rays, pitched at Triple-A Oklahoma City last season in the Dodgers organization where new Phillies manager Gabe Kapler was in charge. Geltz signed a minor league deal with the Phillies during the winter with hopes of at least providing insurance for the team while he pitched at Lehigh Valley.
The latest failed drug test and his second failed drug test were both for “a drug of abuse.” It’s known that the 2014 suspension was for marijuana. Players aren’t suspended for a first failed drug test and it’s not known what was found in his system that caused him to fail that test.
Geltz was hoping to return to the majors after a rough 2016 season with Tampa Bay in which he appeared in 27 games and finished with a 5.74 ERA. In 2014 and 2015, Geltz pitched in 81 games for Tampa Bay, including making two starts. In those 81 games, he pitched 75 2/3 innings and struck out 75 hitters while compiling a 3.69 ERA. The righty made his major league debut with the Angels in 2012, making two relief appearances and allowing one earned run in two innings of work.