Jason at IIATMS has expanded his writing roster recently, and one of his additions is Larry, a lawyer/executive with significant experience in all matters relating to HGH and PED testing. Last night he wrote an extensive and quite entertaining Q&A regarding HGH testing, use and effects that is must-read material for anyone who tries to talk intelligently about this kind of stuff on the interwebs. There’s masses of scientific information-made-accessible in the post, but since I’m a big apologist and everything, this quote stuck out at me:
It seems that when it comes to anti-doping, perception is more important
than reality. The players perceive that HGH is performance-enhancing.
The fans perceive that HGH is performance-enhancing. The anti-doping
forces believe that they have a foolproof test to catch the athletes
using HGH. IN ALL LIKELIHOOD, NONE OF THESE PERCEPTIONS ARE TRUE. Yet
the perceptions takes on lives of their own. It seems likely that
baseball WILL go forward with some kind of HGH testing. The only
question is when.
Put that together with all of the difficulty Larry points out regarding the creation and implementation of HGH tests and you quickly realize that the discussion about HGH use in baseball is really more about politics than it is about performance enhancement.
The Astros have acquired shortstop Aledmys Díaz from the Blue Jays in exchange for minor league right-hander Trent Thornton, the teams announced Saturday.
Díaz, 28, was originally acquired by the Blue Jays last winter in a swap for minor leaguer J.B. Woodman. He spent the entirety of his 2018 campaign in Toronto, where he slashed .263/.303/.453 with a .756 OPS and career-best 18 home runs through 452 plate appearances. While Díaz spent the bulk of his year filling in for an injured Troy Tulowitzki at short, he has experience at second and third base and may prove useful to the Astros as an extra outfield option, too.
Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Díaz will serve as protection if the Astros lose shortstop/utility player Marwin González to free agency this winter. González did not receive a qualifying offer from the club this month and has reportedly drawn interest from 29 of 30 clubs in the league.
Thornton, 25, was selected by the Astros during the fifth round of the 2015 draft. The right-hander was promoted to Triple-A Fresno in 2017 and has been up-and-down since then, though 2018 saw some modest improvements across the board as he turned in a 9-8 record through 22 starts with a 4.42 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 through 124 1/3 innings. He was one of several minor league players the Astros would have needed to protect in advance of the Rule 5 Draft on Tuesday.