Joey Gallo exits game with oblique injury

Joey Gallo
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Rangers centerfielder Joey Gallo was lifted from Saturday’s 6-2 win over the Royals after experiencing tightness in his left oblique. While the extent of his injury has yet to be determined, he’s expected to undergo an MRI and appears likely to end up on the injured list, if only as a precaution.

Gallo broke through a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with a first-pitch, two-RBI home run against the Royals’ Homer Bailey, but didn’t survive his second trip to the plate in the fifth. He made it through a handful of pitches from Bailey before grabbing at his side, at which point he consulted with club manager Chris Woodward and a team trainer. He left the game shortly afterward and was replaced by outfielder and pinch-hitter Danny Santana, who grounded into a force out and stole second base before the inning came to an uneventful end.

Per Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Gallo initially felt discomfort in his oblique after returning a base hit from Cheslor Cuthbert in the top of the fourth, but elected to remain in the game until his next at-bat.

Injury notwithstanding, the 25-year-old is off to a strong start in 2019. He exited Saturday’s game with a .276/.421/.653 batting line, 17 home runs, and an AL-best 1.074 OPS through 214 plate appearances. Should Gallo be confined to the injured list for the next couple of weeks, Wilson adds that Triple-A outfielders Delino DeShields and Zack Granite may be in line to replace him in center field.

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.