The Astros' nightmarish offseason just got worse

Houston Astros relief pitcher Francis Martes walks toward the dugout after being pulled during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Seeking to crack down on repeated instances of cheating, MLB commissioner’s Rob Manfred hit a Houston Astros player with a year-long suspension on Monday. No, it was not for the reason you’d suspect.

MLB announced that Astros pitcher Francis Martes has been suspended 162 games for testing positive for Boldenone, an anabolic steroid. It is the 24-year-old’s second offense in two years.

It seems pretty safe to say that’s not the Astros player many were hoping would receive some kind of punishment.

The Astros have been lambasted for days as MLB’s spring training begins to ramp up, with the harshest statements coming after the team’s widely criticized apology and subsequent comments about their cheating in 2017.

11 PHOTOS
The biggest PED and steroid scandals in sports
See Gallery
The biggest PED and steroid scandals in sports
Tennis player Maria Sharapova addresses the media regarding a failed drug test at the Australian Open at The LA Hotel Downtown on March 7, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
A photo illustration shows a man watching a TV showing disgraced cycling star Lance Armstrong being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on January 17, 2013 in Kensington, Maryland. Armstrong said in the interview that he was 'sorry' for taking performance-enhancing drugs during his career and that it was a mistake. (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE - AUGUST 12: Rafael Palmeiro #25 of the Baltimore Orioles watches from the dugout as his team plays against the Toronto Blue Jays August 12, 2005 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. Palmeiro returned to his team yesterday following a 10 day suspension for testing positive for steroid use, but did play as the Blue Jays defeated the Orioles 12-0. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Roger Clemens, left, a former pitcher with the New York Yankees, and his attorney Rusty Hardin listen to a taped recording of a phone call between Clemens and his former trainer Brian McNamee during a news conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 7, 2008. Clemens reiterated that his former trainer Brian McNamee never injected him with steroids or human growth hormone and said he would repeat that under oath in front of the U.S. Congress. (Photo by Craig Hartley/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Former home run king Mark McGwire, one of seven players subpoenaed to the 17 March, 2005 congressional hearing on steroid use, reportedly has been linked to a steroid investigation from the 1990s. The New York Daily News, citing unidentified FBI sources, is reporting in its 13 March, 2005 editions that McGwire's name arose a number of times in a huge investigation in the early 1990s that led to 70 convictions. The report said McGwire was not a target and was not investigated. However, two steroids dealers caught by the investigation told the Daily News that a third dealer gave steroids to McGwire and Canseco. According to the report, a man named Curtis Wenzlaff injected McGwire with steroids several times at a California gym, an informant revealed to the newspaper. McGwire's regimen included injecting himself in the buttocks every three days with two testosterone substances and weekly with another, an informant told the Daily News. McGwire, who shattered the single-season homer record by belting 70 with St. Louis in 1998, repeatedly has denied using steroids. (Photo credit should read SCOTT ROVAK/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JANUARY 11: Marion Jones gives a brief statement to the press after she leaves court January 11, 2008 in White Plains, New York. Marion Jones was sentenced to six months in prison for lying about using steroids during her athletic career and a check-fraud scam. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
New York Yankees Third Baseman Alex Rodriguez addresses the media after playing a minor league game for the AA Trenton Thunder in Trenton, NJ on August 3, 2013. He is facing a suspension by Major League Baseball for his alleged use of steroids with the Biogenesis clinic in Florida. (Photo by Mark Makela/Corbis via Getty Images)
Dec 17, 2007 - New York, New York, USA - JOSE CANSECO is one of 89 players named in the Mitchell Commission report on steroid use in Major League Baseball. PICTURED: Oakland Athletics Jose Canseco in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Albert Dickson/Sporting News via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -APRIL 8: Former major league baseball player Barry Bonds leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building and United States Court House for a second time April 8, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The jury is deliberating the case in which Barry Bonds is accused of perjury and obstruction of justice in his 2003 testimony about his steroids use to a grand jury. (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)
Major league baseball player Sammy Sosa of the Baltimore Orioles raises his hand to be sworn in for testimony before the House Government Reform Committee hearing entitled "Restoring Faith in America's Pastime: Evaluating Major League Baseball's Efforts to Eradicate Steroids" on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 17, 2005. Sosa testified before the committee that he has never used performance enhancing steroids. REUTERS/Jason Reed JRB
RAKVERE, ESTONIA - AUGUST 3: Sprinter Justin Gatlin of the U.S. in action during the BigBank Kuldliiga Athletics Meeting, his first competitive race after serving a four year drugs ban at The Rakvere Stadium on August 3, 2010 in Rakvere, Estonia. (Photo by Joosep Martinson/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Several MLB players have criticized the Astros’ punishment for their illegal sign-stealing — a $5 million fine, loss of four draft picks and year-long suspensions for since-fired employees — as too lenient toward the players that Manfred’s report indicated were heavily involved in organizing the scheme, though Manfred insisted the public shaming the team is going through is punishment enough.

At the very least, Manfred can say he has punished at least one member of the 2017 team.

Martes threw 54.1 innings for the Astros in 2017 as a 21-year-old rookie, though he hasn’t appeared in the majors since that season. Once the organization’s top-ranked prospect, Martes was a candidate for the Astros’ bullpen this year and a dark horse for the rotation’s fifth starter spot according to the Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome.

So goes another rough week for the Astros. We can only wait and see what comes out next.

More from Yahoo Sports:

Read Full Story