Melky Cabrera was suspended 50 games Wednesday following a positive test for testosterone, putting an abrupt end to what had been an MVP-caliber season and throwing the San Francisco Giants’ playoff hopes into doubt.
Cabrera leads the National League in hitting. His penalty was the first for a high-profile player since last year’s National League MVP, Ryan Braun, had his suspension overturned by an arbitrator last winter. The Braun case led to revisions in the drug agreement.
“My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used,” Cabrera said in a statement released by the union. “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 is batting .346 with 11 home runs and 60 RBI in his first season with San Francisco and is five hits shy of 1,000 in his big league career. Flashing bright orange spikes, he singled and hit a two-run homer last month in the National League’s 8-0 win in the All-StarGame, earning MVP honors.
Cabrera could still win the NL batting title. He has 501 plate appearances, one less than the minimum required to win a batting championship for a player on a team playing 162 games. However, he would win the batting title if an extra hitless at-bat is added to his average and it remains higher than other qualifiers.
He will miss the final 45 games of the regular season and serve the remainder of the suspension at the start of next season or during the postseason.
Rockies call up pitcher Moscoso
The Colorado Rockies recalled right-hander Guillermo Moscoso from Triple A Colorado Springs and designated right-hander Mike Ekstrom for assignment.
This is Moscoso’s third stint with the Rockies in 2012. He was recalled April 28 and made his first career start for Colorado against the New York Mets.
Mets send down Johnson
The New York Mets optioned catcher Rob Johnson to Triple-A Buffalo to make room on the roster for catcher Kelly Shoppach, acquired Tuesday in a trade with Boston.
Johnson has hit .250 with four RBI in 52 at bats over 17 games in two stints with the Mets this season. Shoppach joined the Mets in Cincinnati on Wednesday.