BRADENTON, Fla. -- First, video of Alex Presley taking batting practice during today's workout.
Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced a revision to the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program that calls for random, unannounced, in-season blood testing for human growth hormone that will begin in 2013.
The announcement came one day after the voting results for the Hall of Fame were revealed, and the voters had the chance to weigh in on candidates suspected of building their careers with help. Nobody received the necessary 75 percent of the vote to gain entry (I do not yet have a vote).
MLB and the MLBPA also agreed to establish a baseline for data relating to a player's testosterone levels, among other things. Think a baseline ImPACT test for concussions but with bodily chemicals.
"Players want a program that is tough, scientifically accurate, backed by the latest proven scientific methods, and fair; I believe these changes firmly support the Players’ desires while protecting their legal rights," MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner said in a statement.
Clint Robinson was excited about the new opportunity the Pirates presented. His rise through the minors has coincided with that of Eric Hosmer, not only preventing him from reaching the majors but forcing him to DH while at the same level as Hosmer.
"I was OK with it because I understand what it takes to be up there and teams have their own plans and their guys and that kind of thing," Robinson said. "I was never really bitter about it but it was just kind of, OK, let's see if we can get a new start and get an opportunity somewhere else."
Robinson will compete for a bench spot behind Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez, but he has a minor league option as well.
Vin Mazzaro is likely headed to the bullpen. He said Clint Hurdle and Ray Searage told him they would like him to pitch in relief, which echoes what Neal Huntington told me at the time of the trade.
“The last month of the year, I was in the bullpen,” he said. “That was the first time I was actually in the bullpen. I threw almost every other day. I liked it.”
Mazzaro is out of options.
Zach Stewart and Andrew Oliver have options (because Oliver has less than five full years as a professional, he can qualify for a fourth option). They, like Mazzaro and Justin Wilson, were told to report ready to start just in case.
"That's kind of how it was last year going into camp with Chicago," Stewart said. "They ended up making me the long guy, which was good. I was happy with that."
Stewart and his wife recently build a house in Buckeye, Ariz., west of Phoenix. "I love it out there," he said. "You can throw outside every day, you don’t have to throw in a gym when it gets cold."
Oliver partially attributed his poor command -- at least 80 walks in each of the past two minor league seasons -- to becoming familiar with adjustments he made.
"I changed a couple things the year before," he said. "Just trying to feel comfortable with what I'm doing and trying to be more consistent with it."
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