From Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
ESPN reported that Braun tested positive for a PED that gave him an abnormally high testosterone level, which proved to be synthetic and therefore not produced by the body.
But my source — and again, this is from Braun’s end and not MLB — familiar with the test’s findings says the “prohibited substance” was not a performance-enhancing drug or steroid of any kind. And the source says there has “never” been a result like this in the history of the MLB testing program.
Synthetic testosterone sure sounds performance-enhancing, but maybe the details in ESPN’s story aren’t completely correct. Again, we’ll have to wait for Ryan Braun’s appeal of the positive test to be heard.
Either this is a case of semantics by a person trying to protect Braun, or the whole ordeal is in for a strange turn. What stands out from Haudricourt’s report is the part about the result being unprecedented in MLB.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.