Major League Baseball and the MLBPA just released the annual public report from the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program’s Independent Program Administrator. Which is basically the State of Drugs in Baseball report. Highlights:
- There were 3868 drug tests given for PEDs in 2011;
- Thirteen tests resulted in positives which resulted in discipline, 12 of which were for stimulants and only one of which was for what the drug program calls “a performance enhancing substance”;
- There were 111 therapeutic use exemptions, allowing players to use otherwise banned substances. 105 of those were for ADD, two for high blood pressure, two for post-concussion syndrome, one for hypogonadism, and one for narcolepsy.
As Jeff Passan noted on Twitter a few minutes ago, those ADD exemptions represent 8.8% of 40-man rosters. It is estimated that 4.7 percent of adults have ADD.
ADD drugs are stimulants and stimulants are the most commonly abused drugs by ballplayers. Just sayin’!
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.