This summer it was reigning National League MVP Ryan Braun that stared a 50-game suspension in the eye for testing positive for a banned substance before beating the charge. And though the corruption doesn’t reach that high this time, one of the league’s most productive players, reigning All-Star Game MVP Melky Cabrera, is set to sit out for 50 games, including San Fransisco’s remaining 45 games and five post-season and/or 2013 regular season games.. Cabrera recently tested positive for testosterone and admitted his wrong doing in a statement through the MLPA earlier today:
“My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used. I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and I will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down.”
Cabrera has followed up his encouraging debut season with the Giants last year with another excellent campaign. He came into today with the 15th best WAR in the league amongst position players (4.5) and the most basehits in baseball with 159. The numbers certainly don’t suggest the positive test should be a surprise. He hit .267 with a .379 slugging percentage in the first five years of his career. In his two seasons with the Giants he’s hit .322 and slugged .489. Cabrera had reached his career WAR total from 2005 to 2010 (2.6) by the All-Star Break this year. Cabrera was said to be discussing a contract extension with the Giants around the break but both sides decided to put it off for the off-season.
It’s a good thing that the Giants acquired Hunter Pence at the trade deadline because they will need all of the offensive help they can get with Cabrera gone. Pablo Sandoval’s return for the DL should also help as should Buster Posey’s continued emergence as a lethal masher. But the Giants still rank in the bottom half of the league in runs scored and with their pitching staff taking a step back this year because Tim Lincecum’s struggles, this may not be a loss that the Giants can overcome. Especially with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks hot on their tails in the NL West chase.