Twins without Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and J.J. Hardy against Dontrelle Willis

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Minnesota allowed 10 unanswered runs to Detroit last night to turn a 6-1 lead into an 11-6 loss and now the Twins are without Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and J.J. Hardy for this afternoon’s series finale.
Morneau is out indefinitely after leaving Tuesday’s game with back soreness. Hardy has a case of turf toe that had him running even slower than usual last night. And last but not least Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Mauer is simply “banged up and needs a day off from catching.” He had started 19 of the first 21 games.
Minnesota’s lineup actually doesn’t look all that terrible to me and there’s always a chance of Dontrelle Willis making it a moot point by just imploding, but the Twins’ defense probably isn’t going to do Carl Pavano any favors with Brendan Harris at shortstop, Luke Hughes at third base, Drew Butera behind the plate, and the combination of Delmon Young and Jason Kubel patrolling the outfield corners.
Should be an interesting afternoon matchup between the AL Central’s only above-.500 teams.

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.