The annual report about baseball’s drug program is out

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From MLB’s media relations department to my inbox to your eyes:  MLB and the MLBPA released the annual public report from the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program’s Independent Program Administrator. It’s the thing that says how many positive drug tests there were, for what, etc.

The notable numbers, which cover the period starting when the 2011 World Series ended until the 2012 World Series ended:

  • The total number of drug tests: 5136. Of these, 3,955 were urine tests and 1,181 were blood tests;
  • There were eighteen positives that resulted in discipline. Seven were for PEDs, 11 were for stimulants;
  • There were 119 Therapeutic Use Exemptions granted. Of these, 116 were for ADD, two were for hypertension and one was for the always-popular hypergonadism.

I know a lot of people shuffle on and off of 40-man rosters, but figure at any given time you 1,200 men on those rosters. One hundred sixteen guys represents 9.6% of players being  allowed to take ADD drugs despite them otherwise being banned stimulants. For what it’s worth, the National Resource Center on ADHD and the Attention Deficit Disorder Association report that approximately 7% of children and 5% of adults have ADD or ADHD.

I have no idea whether athletic men in their 20s and 30s skew higher in this regard, and I make no assumptions about it one way or the other. Just offering that information.

Steven Matz to skip next spring training start with elbow issues

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Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.

Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.

Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.