CC Sabathia joins 3,000 strikeout club

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After much anticipation, Yankees starter CC Sabathia has joined the exclusive 3,000 strikeout club during Tuesday night’s start in Arizona against the Diamondbacks. John Ryan Murphy was the lucky winner, fanning on a change-up to end the second inning. Sabathia had struck out David Peralta and Christian Walker earlier in the inning as well.

Sabathia, 38, is in 17th place on the all-time strikeouts leaderboard behind John Smoltz at 3,084. He’s one of only three lefties in the 3,000 strikeout club. Sabathia could also conceivably pass Curt Schilling (3,116) and Bob Gibson (3,117) and move into 14th place by the end of the season.

Sabathia entered Tuesday’s start having allowed just four earned runs on 10 hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts over 15 innings on the season. The potential Hall of Famer plans to retire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.

MLB, union resume blood testing after pandemic, lockout

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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.