White Sox dump veteran Eaton to make room for Engel

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS — The Chicago White Sox designated outfielder Adam Eaton for assignment to make room for the return from the injured list of outfielder Adam Engel.

The 32-year-old Eaton, in his 10th major league season, batted .201 with a career-low .642 OPS in 58 games. He had five homers and 28 RBIs in his second stint with the White Sox, whom he played for from 2014-16. Eaton spent the previous four years with the Washington Nationals, winning a World Series with them in 2019.

Manager Tony LaRussa said dumping Eaton was “a very difficult decision for the organization,” prompted by the emergence of rookies Gavin Sheets and Andrew Vaughn.

“A veteran sitting around and not playing, it kind of goes against why he was brought here. It’s just the reality of the development of some of our young guys,” LaRussa said, adding: “Too many good players. It’s a good problem to have.”

Engel was reinstated from his second injured list stint of the season with a strained right hamstring, but the first-place White Sox are still not close to full strength.

Left fielder Eloy Jimenez ruptured his left pectoral tendon during spring training and has yet to play. Center fielder Luis Robert tore his right hip flexor and has been out since May 2. Second baseman Nick Madrigal tore his right hamstring on June 9 and is out indefinitely. Catcher Yasmani Grandal tore a tendon in his left knee on Monday and will be gone for a month or more.

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.