Mark Melancon says pain is “very similar” to what he felt last year

Stephen Lam/Getty Images

Giants closer Mark Melancon underwent surgery last September to repair the pronator muscle in his right forearm. He went back on the disabled list to start the regular season with another forearm injury. Per Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group, Melancon said the pain he is feeling now is “very similar” to what he felt last year. As Crowley notes, an MRI revealed inflammation in his flexor. Melancon, at the moment, can’t throw from 30 feet without feeling pain.

Melancon is in the second year of a four-year, $62 million contract signed in December 2016. Last season, he recorded 11 saves with a 4.50 ERA and a 29/6 K/BB ratio in 30 innings of work.

Hunter Strickland will serve as the Giants’ closer while Melancon is on the mend, according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. Cory Gearrin and Tony Watson will set up for Strickland. Sam Dyson is apparently further down on the depth chart due to his underwhelming spring performance.

MLB, union resume blood testing after pandemic, lockout

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

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.