|Philadelphia native Sean Murphy died unexpectedly on Monday.|
The 27-year-old pitcher spent six seasons in Oakland's minor-league system after being drafted in the 33rd round in 2010 out of Keystone College. He reached Triple-A in 2014, making seven starts for the Sacramento River Cats. He injured his elbow that season and missed all of last year recovering from Tommy John surgery.
In February, he was suspended by Major League Baseball for 50 games following a second positive drug test. It wasn't a performance-enhancing drug, but rather what MLB deems a "drug of abuse." That list includes marijuana, cocaine and opiates such as oxycodone, heroin and codeine.
“The A’s are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Sean Murphy,” said Billy Beane, executive vice president of baseball operations for the Oakland Athletics. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”
A 6-6, 215-pound right-hander out of Thompson Street in Fishtown, Murphy graduated from North Catholic in 2006. He attributed his success in baseball to the place he grew up.
“I love the neighborhood,” Murphy said in an interview prior to the 2014 season. “It makes you tough and it gives you a certain pride in yourself. I use that to my advantage. It’s like a warrior attitude: we don’t go down easy, we go down fighting. I take that with me every time I step on the mound.”
The cause of death is still under investigation.
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BY PATRICK GORDON