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Giants probably not a playoff team without Melky Cabrera

Aug 15, 2012, 3:14 PM EDT

Melky Cabrera AP

With Melky Cabrera done for at least the rest of the regular season after testing positive for enhanced testosterone levels, the Giants may well fall short of the playoffs this year. Though perhaps that’s for the best, given that the cheater is a big reason they’re tied for the NL West lead at the moment.

Cabrera has hit .346/.390/.516 with 11 homers, 60 RBI and 13 steals this season. That .906 OPS was good for eighth place in the National League. It was also 97 points higher than his 2011 mark with the Royals and 177 points higher than his career mark of .729 entering the season.

Baseball-reference WAR places Cabrera as the NL’s fourth-best position player this season. Fangraphs WAR rates him the 11th best.

Needless to say, the team’s fallbacks don’t compare. Nate Schierholtz will be missed, since he was included in the Hunter Pence trade. Gregor Blanco, whose role was reduced when Pence arrived, figures to see a lot more action now. He’s hitting just .232/.329/.343 for the season, and he’s at .137/.297/.196 in 51 at-bats since the All-Star break. Justin Christian figures to return to the majors to replace Cabrera on the roster.

Perhaps the Giants will go get Alfonso Soriano from a Cubs team perfectly willing to cover a big portion of his salary. He’d replace Melky’s power, though not his on-base ability. Aubrey Huff, on the DL with a strained knee, could factor into the mix in left next month, but it’s nothing the Giants can count on.

The Giants simply can’t afford any drop-off and still expect to reach the playoffs. They’re tied with the Dodgers for the NL West lead, but the Dodgers are playing better baseball at the moment. Their 64-53 record is tied for fifth-best in the NL. As things stand now, both the Braves and Pirates have better records in the wild card spots, with the Cardinals just a half-game behind.

Cabrera will be eligible to play beginning with the Giants’ fifth game of the postseason if the team does advance, but that would turn into a farce if it happens. It’d be another black mark for baseball if Cabrera could get a PED suspension and still be a postseason hero in the same year.

  1. mattyflex - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Got HEEM.

  2. mj2sexay - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Soriano actually makes a ton of sense. It’s a shame Belt can’t play the outfield, otherwise picking up Morneau and his red-hot bat since the break would also be a savvy move.

    Next time stick to leche Melky.

  3. stairwayto7 - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Roids run rampant in San Fran!

  4. sportsdrenched.com - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    I hear Jeff Francoeur is availible.

    • geoknows - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:31 PM

      The Royals would be happy to make it up to the Giants by sending them Frenchy. They won’t even ask for anything back. After all, they already sent them Mijares.

  5. redux23 - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    reason #1 why you shouldnt work out with arod in the offseason

    • sportsdrenched.com - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:21 PM

      So that’s whats wrong with Eric Hosmer.

  6. fhuizar - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Pitching staff will put the team on their back like in 2010

    • jsidewalk - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:44 PM

      Just hope it’s not Lincecum’s back.

      • foreverchipper10 - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:26 PM

        He has been pitching well lately, I believe three quality starts in a row. Maybe the sign of a turnaround but if he can be counted on as a #3 or #4 that is nice to have.

      • jsidewalk - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:45 PM

        Yeah, he has been pitching better lately. Like in the game that is currently being played. He lasted 4 whole innings.

    • kkolchak - Aug 15, 2012 at 9:12 PM

      Better hope they don’t play the Nats then. Other than one start by Bumgarner, the Nats ate them alive.

  7. redux23 - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    there is also a good chance he just fell on one of bonds’ old syringes

  8. nineroutsider - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Damn, the baseball gods will not allow this team to put together a lineup that can hit. I wouldn’t go counting the Giants out just yet though, they couldn’t hit in 2010 and won the whole thing. Time for the pitching staff to go into dead ball era mode like they did in September 2010 and take this thing over.

    Also, the Pirates are a fading star; the Giants will be in the hunt till the end, don’t think the pirates will be.

    Sabes – if you have another rabbit, now is the time to pull it out of the hat!

  9. buffalomafia - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    No wonder why he is playing so well?!

    When he was with the Yanks & Braves he stunk!

  10. fuddpucker - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Just go ahead and sign that Big, Fat, 100 millon dollar contract Melky.

    Oh, wait…

  11. bellylard - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    I dunno, the Giants have won without offense before. The bigger question is, since the testing is over for bit presumably, can they get Lincecum back on weed now?

  12. CliffC - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    “Cabrera will be eligible to play beginning with the Giants’ fifth game of the postseason if the team does advance, but that would turn into a farce if it happens. It’d be another black mark for baseball if Cabrera could get a PED suspension and still be a postseason hero in the same year.”

    I thought this was one place I could read about baseball and avoid the sanctimonious bullshit usually reserved for the BBWAA. No, this is actually the opposite of a black mark. This is what the program was put in place to do and it did it well. To catch PED users and suspend them. This time it caught one of the best players in the game this year. Would it be any different if he tested positive on April 15th and came back to be a postseason hero while passing the tests required? Are you suggesting we should kick them out of the game for good after one positive test?

    Players are going to cheat, they always have and they always will. Luckily, we now have testing in place to weed them out and when they serve their punishment they can return to the game, just like any other penalty/punishment in civilized society.

    • El Bravo - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      I agree 100%. The whole point is to serve his time, and once served, he shouldn’t be punished even further. The rules say 50 games, and everyone is in consensus that that is a stiff, but fair, penalty. So why say he shouldn’t be allowed to play in the postseason, Matthew??

      • Matthew Pouliot - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:59 PM

        Oh, he should be allowed to play. I think it’d be pretty bad for the game if he came back and hit .400 to lead the Giants to the World Series, though.

      • El Bravo - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:04 PM

        Fair enough. That would be, at the very least, annoying. I have to assume he’ll regress due to lack of playing and lack of performance enhancers. I also would not be surprised if they leave him completely off their playoff roster assuming they’ve somewhat filled the void he left by that time. Soriano would certainly be a win-win now for both clubs.

      • Alex K - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:18 PM

        Why would it be bad for the game for him to preform well in a tiny little amount of PA’s? That position doesn’t make a lot of sense, to me. Anything can happen in 40-50 PA’s.

    • Alex K - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:56 PM

      This. Those exact thoughts were brewing in my head in a less eloquent manner. The only thing to add is a reminder that using steriods/HGH/greenies doesn’t make that player a bad person or a scumbag. Taking banned substances also doesn’t turn a mediocre ballplayer into Mickey Mantle.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      “But think of the children!” I agree completely that he should be allowed to play in the post-season if the Giants make it that far.

      I do wonder how his teammates will feel about it at that point. His drug suspension will either be a big part of why they do not make the post-season at all, or it will put a much larger burden on the guys who pick up the slack in his absence. Either way, I wonder how many of those guys will not be too happy to seek Melky’s smiling face this fall.

  13. beast2727 - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Don’t drink the expired milk

  14. fuddpucker - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Does MLB even have random tests?

    I ask this cause I think they have to have a valid suspicion before they can test a player.

  15. tredav111 - Aug 15, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/28/giants-beat-writer-apologizes-to-melky-cabrera-for-ped-rumor/

  16. florida727 - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    When your team is in the middle of the playoff hunt, you watch highlights of your team on cable. When you watch highlights of your team on cable, you daydream about being bigger, stronger, and faster. When you daydream about being bigger, stronger, and faster, you think of ways to improve quickly. When you think of ways to improve quickly, you consider cheating. When you consider cheating, you take PEDs. When you take PEDs, you get caught and suspended. When you get caught and suspended, you disappoint your teammates and ruin their post-season chances. Don’t disappoint your teammates and ruin their post-season chances. Get rid of cable. And upgrade to Direct TV.

  17. dude1974 - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    On behalf of the ST. Louis Cardinals, I would like to thank the Giants for keeping our playoff spot warm.

  18. kandlestickkid - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Shucks. Shame! Sh*t!!!

    Al-So to the rescue?

  19. natslady - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Wait–the Giants are shutting down their best player, one of their All-Stars, for 50 games and people still think they have a chance to make the playoffs? Really? You mean there are other guys on the team? I’m shocked, shocked.

  20. psousa1 - Aug 15, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Not that I have a favorite team in the hunt but it’s gotta be something more than raised testosterone levels to suspend the guy. Maybe they haven’t released the name of the drug.

    • rmcintyre003 - Aug 15, 2012 at 6:45 PM

      maybe its to much estrogen,,,,,,,,,,lol

  21. mailman2504 - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    “Giants probably not a playoff team without (*)Melky Cabrera” post 2010 he’s referred to as “*Melky Cabrera”, pre-2011 he wouldn’t have made that headline.

  22. mailman2504 - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    “Giants probably not a playoff team without (*)Melky Cabrera”

    post 2010 he’s referred to as “*Melky Cabrera”, pre-2011 he wouldn’t have made that headline.

  23. rmcintyre003 - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    You have got to be kidding me. Why, Why, Why? I have been a true card fan for forty years, this really breaks my heart. Not only does this bring shame to that great Giants org. ,but to all of major league sports. Can someone please tell me ( our children the most) WHY. This man has ruined so many dreams of keeping the dreams of our coaches, teams and any young minds that drugs are not cool. I took my kids to watch the cards and cubs play, and big mack broke that home run mark that stood famously since 1961. Mark cheated, we all know this, ( it makes me sick each and every time they show his mug on t.v.) is our younger generation this involved in drugs that cheating is o k. Why Melky would you, a pro ruin so many dreams. Now these kids that we take to watch YOU and all the previous drug using so-called pros play our wonderful, beautiful past time( or was until we started cheating), show our kids , that this is what it takes to be a star. Between you and big mac, slamming sammy and the rest of (lets not leave out those Oakland guys) those cheating so called PRO ball players it is o k to cheat. No wonder our kids are ending up in our court systems, charged with murder, rape hell lets throw in hooliganism, i want ALL of my money back.We on the right side of life do HONESTLY realize that wont happen. The football players say Mr,Goodell is way over the line in his bounty gate, well i will say All sports need to have daily drug test and make them pay for those test, we know they can afford it, unless they are using their money to buy more drugs, or using it for bail money. No wonder we as men can not get OUR wives and partners to even go to a damn game because they think it is rigged or when are they going to see your name plastered on a news page.That is when they can say ………….i told you so, thanks pros. Now i have to go and mow whats left of my lawn, by the way does anyone know where i can get some drugs for my lawn,,,,lol. thanx for reading

    • mailman2504 - Aug 15, 2012 at 5:55 PM

      Scott’s make a ggh (grass growth hormone) you can buy it from the dude in a trench coat behind tractor supply.

      • rmcintyre003 - Aug 15, 2012 at 6:52 PM

        lol…very funny as it is known in mlb i got rained out….not

    • huffdaddyco - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:48 AM

      Wait! Is this one of those cipher puzzles where I have to take all of the letters from the capitalized words to get the secret message?

    • Alex K - Aug 16, 2012 at 8:54 AM

      So cheating in baseball has something to do with the crime rate?

      Also, good job pretending that baseball players haven’t been taking drugs to help them play since the 60’s, at least.

  24. shawnuel - Aug 15, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    The Giants probably wouldn’t be a playoff team WITH a “pre-Testosterone” Melky Cabrera, either.

  25. capone888 - Aug 16, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Your headline is wrong. Here you go:

    Giants certainly not a playoff team without PEDs

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