The MLB is cracking down following the death of former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
For the safety of the players, the league will implement random opioid testing starting next season. They previously only tested a player due to a "reasonable cause," but that's about to change.
The opioid issue hit the league very hard last season when Skaggs tragically passed away from an overdose after his autopsy revealed he had fentanyl and oxycodone (in addition to alcohol) in his body.
Obviously, this revelation didn't change anyone's reaction to Skaggs' passing, but it did bring awareness to a serious issue in baseball that's more frequent than it should be. Professional athletes abusing pain medication and other drugs is nothing new, so it's about time further action is taken.
For example, back in 2004, former third baseman and NL MVP Ken Caminiti passed away due to a substance abuse issue that had apparently been plaguing him throughout his career.
Hopefully this policy can usher in a new era of baseball in which anyone with a substance abuse issue gets the help they need right away.