Steroids and Pitching

Any experiences first hand or knowing someone who has.? Just out of curiosity

The only person I know who used them (and got popped by MLB) was using them as part of an injury recovery program.
The reason a pitcher would use steroids would be for recovery. A long pro season, throwing hundreds of innings and nagging injuries. This is why almost all pitchers would use steroids. A pitcher would use them to lift or gain strength is lazy beyond repair (as lifting for a pitcher is usually not crazy) and would have no concept of how they work.

I played through the end of the Steroid Era in the early 2000s, and pitchers generally used steroids for recovery. Winstrol and other steroids were taken in pill form or injection.

The point with steroids and HGH isn’t that it’s “muscle in a bottle” as much as it allows you to recover faster from pitching in games or tough weight room workouts. So you can lift weights heavy every single day, whereas under normal circumstances you’d likely need 2-3 days rest between workouts. For pitchers, and especially relief pitchers, the ability to speed up recovery time means you can pitch back to back to back appearances with little to no negative affect. That’s important for a closer who might be pitching 4 times per week. Not only that, but that same closer can also lift weights every day or at least a lot more frequently with steroids than without.

So again, it was never specifically about getting bigger from a pitching standpoint, but rather recovering faster so that the net gain over a season is realized.

That being said, it’s banned, of course and the consequences of testing positive now are very, very steep. Proper diet, rest, regeneration and recovery the right way will still produce good results.


When my friend got popped he was using steroids that was prescribed by a doctor as part of his recovery.
No idea why the original poster asked the question. Information is king when it comes to stuff like this.

Pitchers in my experience did so as a last effort to extend a career, for the better of “not having a career without them.” The testing years of the clubs that I was with were a joke and past-over to manipulated PR sort of speak for public consumption and to hold the monetary value of collectables and souvenirs.

In every single case where I found their use, I saw the lack of supply which then turned into a break in use, the fall downward both physically and mentally was devastating. Changes in behavior were enormous, mood swings were deadly for anyone around a guy using this crap, and the bouts of depression where very deep holes.

I stopped talking to guys when I found the use. Steroids not only impact the body’s ability to function properly - recovery or not, they also make a guy totally deaf.

Pitching professionally requires a lot of dedication to the singular life style of do it - period. There are no friends, there is no family, this is no personal life, the only God and religion that a man has to address and answer to is professional baseball - then pitch.

It never ceases to amaze me how a young man can’t wait to get into pro ball, feels on top of the world when he makes it A, then AA, then just waits for the right moment to get “up there”, but somewhere along the line he fails to dedicate his total existence to one thing that he chased. The bottom line to a professional baseball existence is this - you are born and bread for pitching, not anything outside the lines. It’s a lonely, crap existence - but, no one held a gun to anybody’s head, no one every forced a pen in anybody’s hand, and no one forces anyone to get a bus and ride to one camp after another.

Sorry for the rant (not really). But steroids are cheap tricks and a dead rabbit out of the magician’s hat.

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Absolutely, positively and right on the money!

Coach Baker,
Actually, what steroids are is science. If guys were having emotional swings when using or when they stopped they had no idea how to use them and were probably getting them from hacks. Not surprising if a guy is looking for a short cut.
In my limited experience with guys who have used them in sports (not idiot bodybuilders) they were almost always used as a means of recovery from injury or wear and tear from the grind of a season. One time a guy I knew used them to gain weight and strength. As an aspiring 215 lb NFL Linebacker he was told by his team to gain weight and power or don’t both coming to the next training camp. He reported 6 1/2 months later with a lower body fat and weighing 45 lbs more…there is no way the team did not know what was going on, but, what do they care?
The answer is, they don’t. If MLB really gave a toss about PEDs and players they would have a REAL testing schedule. They would expand rosters and shorten the season. Neither will happen as that would affect the bottom line.
I absolutely get why a guy would use them. The marginal MLB guy trying to push into the highest level. A lifer minor leaguer trying to make the big league. A guy with nagging injuries with an opportunity to making 10s of millions of dollars if he can fake being healthy for the balance of a season. I get it. The chemicals are always ahead of the testing. There are always ways to cheat and it is in no way limited to professionals.
I want a conversation (in the public not the board per say) that is deeper than good and bad. We all understand that. PEDs are all over the place at the junior college level because there is no testing. They are pretty common in high school as well. I want young players to have an understanding of what they are and are not, what they do and how they can affect a person so when they are confronted with it…and if they play long enough THEY WILL run into it, they have information on their side.
Any guy who thinks taking steroids or HGH or whatever is going to make him throw hard has no concept of what that would take anyway.
The funny thing is, like both Steven and you said, recovery for a pitcher is very doable if approached correctly and consistently. But, that takes work, information and focus.

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What is the origin of your original question?

Unfortunately… this is the science …in the hands of professional and the non-professinal…and their handlers … " I don’t see nutton," then as today, is a business way of life that will never change … just how it’s worded for public consumption. College football and their use of pain killers, injections and such just to keep that TV contract as viable as possible is another avenue nightmare.

These cocktails are not very difficult to get, nor or they necessarily scientific. Back in the late 70’s, cocktails using a combination of "pep pills, codeine, radish juice and heaven knows what found their way into many a locker room. I could always tell when a guy was “mixing.” His bent over posture in the later innings, cramps and trips to the stalls, wasn’t all that hard to miss.


There is a difference between a guy getting a “cocktail” from the local gym rat or muscle head and someone who knows what they are doing.
It probably falls under the discussion of medicine vs drugs…they are all drugs, just some are socially acceptable and some are not.
I am totally against the use of PEDs by the way, I don’t want to make it seem otherwise. Like you said it is nothing new and probably won’t change.
I think the danger for a young guy is hearing they are devil, then knowing someone who does something like a PED and has no obvious ill effects. It potentially opens the door in their mind.

No real question here! Just wanted some input on experiences and stories. I play college ball and have been hearing for years about different compounds being used by pitchers

Thanks for all the feed back. This is a topic that always sparked curiosity I’ve heard plenty of stories about winny and recently hearing about a ped called equipoise, or boldenone undecylenate and this particular steroids joint healing abilities which are higher than that of HGH(which pretty much heals everything)

If any of you recall recently Jenrry Mejia was caught using (EQ and winny) I also have a friend who played minor league ball who said pitchers would constantly mess around with a black liquid which I still can’t figure out is it equipoise or winny or both because both of them can come in black liquids

Equipoise is an old steroid that is only used in here vet medicine now.
It is used as a mass builder but it is not the most effective one.
I would leave the vet roids to the animals.

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I think one aspect that rarely gets mentioned is the long term effect of 'roids. One year at an NPA coaches certification, I was able to spend some time talking with one of the sports med. folks in attendance. During our talk, the topic of steroids came up. He mentioned that roid users can expect to need hip replacements a number of years down the road. He said the end of the femur that inserts into the hip socket has limited blood flow and that roids further reduce that blood flow causing the bone to slowly die.


Agreed Roger.
Steroids are treated like other drugs by the medical profession. ALL drugs have side effects and affect the whole body. It just sort of irks me when some things are talked about as “medicine” other as “drugs” and others like steroids as “PEDs”…it leaves the concept of good vs bad up to the perception of the person reading the article or whatever. There is nothing new here. Chemistry is always going to be create the next miracle compound. The effects…particularly the long term effects are often not discussed.
For a guy who thinks getting that last 2% is going to make him $50 million dollars or is going to get him from AAA to MLB or even from JV to Varsity…that is the discussion that needs to happen. I am not sure it would make much difference once a young, healthy person has made up their mind. But at least they will have eyes wide open.
It can be a matter of a perception problem. The person lining up to take the “magic” pill has a problem with their perception of the world, life and their role in it.

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