Quote of the Day: C.J. Nitkowski on HGH and Tommy John surgery

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How is replacing a ligament in your arm with one from your leg OK but treating an injury with HGH not?

Former major leaguer C.J. Nitkowski, tweeting this morning about why one abnormal body repair technique is OK, but another is not.

Yes, one is against the rules and one is not, but rules aren’t ends. They’re means to encourage and ensure good behavior and/or deter and punish bad behavior. If we were writing the rules from scratch this very day my guess is that people would acknowledge that HGH use under a doctor’s care for injury rehab is absolutely fine. And in any event, less shockingly weird that frankensteining an elbow ligament out of a leg ligament.

We won’t do that, however, because HGH comes in the form of injections and that looks like illicit drug use and so much of our society has been brainwashed by War on Drugs rhetoric that we’d rather just say HGH is bad, mmm-kay, than actually think about it a bit. 

Maybe someday we’ll wake up and actually begin to use reason again.

Adrian Beltre cleared for extended spring training

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Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.

Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.

Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.

Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.

Michael Bourn opts out of his minor league deal with the Orioles

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Outfielder Michael Bourn was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Orioles late last season and hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with them through the end of the season. While that’s not enough to outweigh the miserable season he had in Arizona, it was enough to get the O’s to give him a look in spring training with a minor league deal. They signed him to one in late February.

Then, a couple of days later, Bourn broke his finger while playing catch with a football. Unable to play, the O’s cut him. In early April, once Bourn healed, the O’s signed him again. He played 11 games for their Triple-A affiliate and went 9-for-41 with ten walks in 51 plate appearances. While that makes for a decent OBP, his lack of any sort of pop or good contact suggests that if someone throws him strikes, he can’t do much with the ball.

As such, the O’s had not called him up to Baltimore. And as a result of that, Bourn exercised his opt-out rights and became a free agent.

Someone may take a look at him given that his batting eye seems to be intact and given that, in an admittedly small sample size, he still performed last season. But if he does get a look, it’ll likely be back at the minor league level.