All-Star rosters seem to be changing by the hour

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Several players have bowed out of Tuesday’s All-Star Game this weekend due to injuries.  Let’s recap:

Jose Reyes aggravated a right oblique injury on a long throw in Saturday’s game and will rest up instead of heading out to Anaheim, according to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin.  Reyes is hoping the All-Star break will allow him to avoid the disabled list.  The Dodgers’ Rafael Furcal, batting .333/.373/.519, will replace him.

Justin Morneau suffered a mild concussion earlier this week and is still showing some minor symptoms.  He bowed out Saturday, according to MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier, and Paul Konerko of the White Sox will replace him.  Konerko has a .298/.379/.557 batting line, 20 home runs and 62 RBI through 289 at-bats.

Jason Heyward finally decided Saturday to remove himself from the National League All-Star roster, reports Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  He has been rehabbing a bruised thumb for a few weeks and remains on the disabled list.  A replacement has not been named, but do-it-all Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez seems like a nice fit.  CarGo was on MLB’s “Final Vote” ballot, but lost out to Reds first baseman Joey Votto.

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.