Melky Cabrera was suspended 50 games Wednesday following a positive test for testosterone, putting an abrupt end to what had been an MVP-caliber regular season and throwing the San Francisco Giants’ playoff hopes into doubt.
Cabrera leads the National League with 159 hits, and is second in batting average behind Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen. Cabrera’s penalty was the first for a high-profile player since last year’s NL MVP, Ryan Braun, had his suspension overturned by an arbitrator last winter.
“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.”
The suspension would extend into the playoffs if the Giants advance.
Cabrera is batting .346 with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs in his first season with San Francisco and is five hits shy of 1,000 in his big league career.
CURTIS TO FIGHT ADDED SEX CHARGE
Former major league outfielder Chad Curtis plans to fight an additional charge stemming from complaints about his behavior with female high school students in Michigan.
In June, the 43-year-old was ordered to stand trial on charges he inappropriately touched two students at a school where he was a volunteer strength trainer. Barry County prosecutors this week said a criminal sexual conduct count involving another female student was added.
Between 1992 and 2001, Curtis played for the then-California Angels, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers. He won two World Series rings with the Yankees.
The Mets optioned former Mariners catcher Rob Johnson to Triple-A Buffalo on Wednesday to make room on the roster for catcher Kelly Shoppach, acquired Tuesday in a trade with Boston. … White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko hit in the cage and played catch Wednesday, and is on schedule to come off the seven-day concussion disabled list on Friday. … Pirates second baseman Neil Walker left the game against the Dodgers during the first inning Wednesday with a dislocated finger on his right hand. … Josh Reddick was scratched from the Athletics’ lineup Wednesday against the Royals because of complications from a tooth that was extracted. … Left-hander Jaime Garcia will return to the Cardinals’ rotation Sunday, and the team will shift Joe Kelly, their rookie fill-in, to the bullpen. … None of the Red Sox players called for manager Bobby Valentine to be replaced, owner John Henry said Wednesday. … Astros right-hander Bud Norris left the game against the Cubs on Wednesday after being hit in the foot by a line drive in the fourth. … The Cubs fired vice president of player personnel Oneri Fleita.