Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 8/29/12

Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon have several things in common. For starters, both were born in the Dominican Republic. Both also played for the Yankees, and both have been suspended by the MLB for 50 games for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Their former GM, Brian Cashman, spoke candidly about their suspensions on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, not surprised,” the Yankees GM said on “The Michael Kay Show” when asked about the suspensions. “You see some spike in performance. You hope it’s not the case, but you scratch your head and you wonder at the same time. But then you sit there and get a comfort level: Tests are taking place, so if people are passing their tests …

“In Bartolo’s case, as well as he has done last year as well through this year, at his age, after coming back from that surgery, makes you scratch your head.”

Colon went 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA last season in New York after missing all of 2010 because of injuries. He is 39 years old, yet this year he had posted a 10-9 record with a 3.43 ERA prior to his suspension. While he isn’t exactly lighting it up, Colon has thrown a lot of innings for someone who is old and couldn’t stay healthy at one point. As for Cabrera, the mystery centered around his spike in production.

“When we traded him to Atlanta we had him as a low-end, everyday regular or an excellent fourth outfielder,” Cashman explained. “And that’s how we showed where we thought his ceiling was. As you know, he was starting for us in the World Series, but we had him as a low-end, everyday guy, not a National League MVP candidate. So I wasn’t surprised.”

Cabrera is in position to win the batting title this year as he was hitting a whopping .346 and has enough at-bats to qualify. That would be a great accomplishment, if only his career hadn’t been fueled by PED use. Although he is only 28 years old and could conceivably be entering the prime of his career, we know better than to just take that type of increase in production at face value. In many ways, the cases of Cabrera and Colon were both obvious.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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