<
>

Ex-Marlins top pick recovering after heroin OD

BOSTON -- It appears the sad saga of Florida Marlins pitching prospect Jeff Allison has taken another negative turn.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Allison suffered a second heroin overdose Monday.

The newspaper obtained a report from Medford police, which claimed that Allison was found lying unconscious on the bathroom floor of a two-story home Monday afternoon. Heroin was cited as the cause of Allison's condition.

Allison, 21, was taken to Winchester Hospital and released the same day, according to the newspaper.

A first-round pick of the Marlins in 2003, Allison was suspended by the team in March.

Allison nearly died in July 2004 after overdosing on heroin. He later admitted to the Globe that he was addicted to the painkiller OxyContin, which he said he first began using when he was a junior at Peabody High School in Massachusetts.

"He's just been battling everything," Andrew Coppola, a longtime friend who visited Allison at the hospital following this week's incident, told the Globe. "He's been doing the best he can and unfortunately things like this keep happening. He has so much against him right now. He's doing what he can, but it's overwhelming him."

Allison signed with the Marlins for $1.85 million in July 2003. He pitched for Florida's rookie league team in the Gulf Coast League in 2003, going 0-2 with a 1.00 ERA in three appearances, spanning nine innings. After he left extended spring training in 2004 without permission, Allison was placed on the restricted list.

Allison returned in May 2005, pitching for Florida's Class A affiliate Greensboro of the South Atlantic League. He went 5-4 with a 4.18 ERA in 17 starts for Greensboro.

Coppola said that not being able to pitch has exacerbated Allison's struggles.

"I think that's been the deciding factor in everything that's happened," he told the paper. "He screwed up a few times before, but he always had baseball to fall back on, and I always believed as long as he had baseball he'd pull out of this thing. It's possible that he doesn't have baseball anymore and I also think that's a deciding factor in what's going on and whether or not he'll be able to pull out of this."

Information from SportsTicker was used in this report.