It has been 273 days since the Giants have seen Melky Cabrera. He was caught, and that was that.
The Giants were surging and had just traded for the Phillies’ slugger Hunter Pence. Cabrera was leading the league in triples (10), was second in batting average (.346) and was on pace for around 230 hits last year before he was suspended for PED use.
Since then, the Giants have been pretty well off without him. They won a World Series in four game versus the Detroit Tigers and re-signed every player on their wish list. It was a good offseason.
Cabrera, on the other hand, was not welcomed back in San Francisco and was forced to test free agency. On Nov. 19, 2012, the Toronto Blue Jays swooped him up in their busiest offseason ever for just two years, $16 million.
For me, it’s kind of discouraging to see players get paid millions of dollars after being suspended for a third of a season for breaking the well-known law. Yes, Barry Bonds took steroids, but his career was on it’s last legs (or knees, in his case) when the Mitchell report was released.
Anyway, Cabrera is happy because he is back in the American League and is getting a very decent contract. In 2011, he hit .305/.339/.470 with 18 home runs and 87 RBI with the Kansas City Royals – a breakout season.
Now, just 39 games into the 2013 season, Cabrera is suffering.
His line of .268/.298/.338 with only one home run and 12 RBIs is worse than his former backup Gregor Blanco (.289/.363/.367, no homers and 13 RBIs). Bloanco has also played in just 29 games.
After the Blue Jays picked up Emilio Bonifacio, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Brandon Morrow and R.A. Dickey in the winter, the team has seen little success. Last in the AL East with a 15-24 record, Toronto has the second-worst team ERA (4.74) and on-base percentage (.301) in the AL and the third worst batting average (.237).
The Blue Jays do, however, own the most home runs in the league with 51. So there’s that.
The Giants are quite the opposite – their offense is flourishing as of late.
They lead the NL in batting average (.266), is fifth in on-base percentage (.326) and has a team ERA of 3.71 – more than a run more than Toronto.
It will be interesting to see how the Giants handle a home run-hitting team in a home run ball park in Toronto – they have allowed 24 of their 37 home runs away from AT&T Park.
As for Cabrera, I hope he either commits an error, strikes out a few times or is picked-off – or all of those things.
I’d like to think the Giants are going to remind him of what he missed last year and the 38 games this year.