Aubrey Huff suffered from Adderall abuse, contemplated suicide

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Former major leaguer Aubrey Huff spoke with Buster Olney of ESPN earlier this week and revealed that he was addicted to Adderall in the later stages of his career and that, in 2014, he contemplated suicide. Indeed, at one point he was holding a gun to his head, ready to pull the trigger.

Huff’s conversation with Olney can be heard on Olney’s podcast from Wednesday. In it Huff says that he started taking Adderall in 2009, when one of his Baltimore Orioles teammates gave him some to deal with a hangover (Huff said he was drinking every day back then). He soon became hooked and could not play without it. Adderall, of course, is a banned substance in Major League Baseball as it’s a stimulant. Many players use if via therapeutic exemptions for attention deficit disorder. Indeed, a larger percentage of players get such exemptions for it than the rate of ADD occurrence in adults in the population at large, leading many to suspect that some are getting the drug specifically to enhance performance. Huff:

“I went through that whole 2010 playing under the influence . . . I think in a lot of ways, Adderall is more potent than any steroid you can take because, as you know, baseball is a game of mental toughness, and Adderall gets into your head and makes you feel invincible.”

Huff described a depression which set in after that season, when he was coming down off the drug, not needing it while not on the playing field. And, indeed, he has been off the drug since 2012. But he has still dealt with anxiety and depression. And has endured at least one strikingly harrowing episode:

“In 2014, I found myself in my closet, on my knees, with a .357 Magnum, hammer pulled back, staring at myself in the mirror,” he told Olney when asked what his low point with addiction was. ” . . . I was ready to pull the trigger. This was a low-low point in my life. I had hit rock bottom at that moment.”

Huff also talks about a gambling addiction he suffered during this time.

Huff says he’s dealing with all of that much better now and feels healthier than he has in years. That’s good to hear. But it’s certainly scary to hear what he’s been through. One hopes those bad days are behind him.

Diamondbacks place Shelby Miller on the 10-day disabled list

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The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that starter Shelby Miller has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Miller will get a second opinion on his elbow on Tuesday, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. Pitcher Silvino Bracho has been called up from Triple-A Reno to take Miller’s spot on the roster.

Miller, 26, left Sunday’s start with what was described at the time as forearm tightness. Through his first four starts, Miller is carrying a 4.09 ERA with a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.

Bracho, 24, has pitched quite well in 6 2/3 innings of relief at Reno. He’s given up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk (intentional) with 12 strikeouts.

Archie Bradley figures to take Miller’s spot in the starting rotation as Bracho will work middle relief.

Eric Thames hit two more homers

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And John Lackey is livid.

The Brewers’ first baseman homered in each of his first two plate appearances against Reds starter Amir Garrett on Monday evening, helping his team to a 6-1 lead after two frames. The first was a solo blast in the first inning, and the second was a two-run shot to the opposite field in the second inning.

According to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, Thames has tied the Brewers’ record for home runs in April with 10. Carlos Lee also hit 10 homers in April 2006.

Seven of Thames’ 10 home runs have come against the Reds. Including his first two at-bats on Monday night, Thames is hitting .379/.474/.924 with 17 RBI along with the 10 dingers. Not too shabby from a guy the Brewers signed to a three-year, $16 million contract during the offseason.

Lackey and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio both recently implied Thames is using performance-enhancing drugs, but Thames was tested immediately after last Monday’s game against the Cubs.