Melky Cabrera, your new poster boy for PED use, will be taking a 50-game vacation
Cabrera, who won the All Star game MVP award and is currently 2nd in the NL in batting average, will miss the remainder of the regular season for the Giants, who have 45 games remaining.
This means that Cabrera could theoretically be available as soon as game 5 of the NLDS, in the event that the Giants make it that far. If they qualify for one of the wild card spots, win that game, and then make it to game 5, Cabrera would be able to play. Otherwise, he might be available as late as game 3 of the NLCS or game 6 of the regular season, depending on how the Giants fare.
Cabrera responded to the suspension, saying "my positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used. I am deeply sorry for my mistake."
Right now, Cabrera trails Andrew McCutchen by .013 for the NL lead in batting average. Cabrera has 501 plate appearances, but would need 502 to qualify for the batting title.
In the event that Cabrera is leading the league at the end of the season, one "out" would be added to his totals in order to get him up to the necessary number of plate appearances. If he's still leading after that, he would be the batting champ. So, it's theoretically possible for him to serve his suspension and still win the batting title.
This is yet another black eye on the game of baseball, a sport that has been haunted by PED use for over two decades now.
Cabrera's performance this year has been the epitome of "enhanced," showing once again that they call them "performance enhancing drugs" for a reason.
Cabrera has a .906 OPS, almost 100 points higher than his career high of .809m, which was set last year. Before 2011, he had a career OPS of .707. His OPS+ had been 85, but was 121 in 2011 and 158 in 2012. In case you're not familiar with OPS+, a 100 is considered average. He was a below average hitter for his first 6 seasons, and then was well above average in 2011 before turning into a top 5 overall hitter in the NL in 2012.
There should be no question whatsoever that his performance was aided by whatever drugs he was taking, and his elevated testosterone levels were pretty indicative of that.
Ironically, a baseball writer from the Bay Area tweeted that he had heard a rumor that Cabrera was going to be suspended back on July 27. After backlash from Cabrera and fans, he issued an apology, saying that he did more harm than good.
As it turns out... he was right, and his rumor has now been substantiated. So kudos to Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area, who broke the news way before anyone else, even if he wasn't 100% sure.