Rangers send their Opening Day catchers to the minors

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Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden began the season sharing the catching position in the major leagues. Now they’ll do it again with Triple-A Oklahoma City, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.

It’s quite a surprising change of course, but now Max Ramirez will share catching duties with Matt Treanor for the time being. The move enables Saltalamacchia to stay down in the minor leagues for at least 10 days, unofficially extending what was already a minor league rehab assignment. 

“We’ve been struggling at the catching position in the early going,”
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “We want to give Taylor an
opportunity to go down and get right. With Jarrod, he’s felt good the
last few days. We just want to see him go and play … get consistent
playing time, consistent repetitions, play regularly; also with the
mindset not to worry if today is the day he’s coming back. Free him up
to go down and play regularly and not worry about anything.”

Saltalamacchia was placed on the disabled list on April 8 due to tightness in his upper back and left shoulder, but has been progressing well in his rehab. Teagarden, meanwhile, was in a deep funk at the plate, managing just one hit over his first 27 at-bats this season.  
  

MLB, union resume blood testing after pandemic, lockout

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK – In the first acknowledgment that MLB and the players’ association resumed blood testing for human growth hormone, the organizations said none of the 1,027 samples taken during the 2022 season tested positive.

HGH testing stopped in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Testing also was halted during the 99-day lockout that ended in mid-March, and there were supply chain issues due to COVID-19 and additional caution in testing due to coronavirus protocols.

The annual public report is issued by Thomas M. Martin, independent program administrator of MLB’s joint drug prevention and treatment program. In an announcement accompanying Thursday’s report, MLB and the union said test processing is moving form the INRS Laboratory in Quebec, Canada, to the UCLA Laboratory in California.

MLB tests for HGH using dried blood spot testing, which was a change that was agreed to during bargaining last winter. There were far fewer samples taken in 2022 compared to 2019, when there were 2,287 samples were collected – none positive.

Beyond HGH testing, 9,011 urine samples were collected in the year ending with the 2022 World Series, up from 8,436 in the previous year but down from 9,332 in 2019. And therapeutic use exemptions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder dropped for the ninth straight year, with just 72 exemptions in 2022.

Overall, the league issued six suspensions in 2022 for performance-enhancing substances: three for Boldenone (outfielder/first baseman Danny Santana, pitcher Richard Rodriguez and infielder Jose Rondon, all free agents, for 80 games apiece); one each for Clomiphene (Milwaukee catcher Pedro Severino for 80 games), Clostebol (San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. for 80 games) and Stanozolol (Milwaukee pitcher J.C. Mejia for 80 games).

There was an additional positive test for the banned stimulant Clobenzorex. A first positive test for a banned stimulant results in follow-up testing with no suspension.