Melky Cabrera seeks instructions from Giants

Melky Cabrera seeks instructions from Giants
September 15, 2012, 1:29 am
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PHOENIX -- Suspended and disgraced outfielder Melky Cabrera recently reached out to Giants officials to find out when and if he should report to the club's minor league complex to prepare for a potential spot on the postseason roster.

The club is not commenting on Cabrera's situation, but all indications are that upper management has zero interest in the All-Star Game MVP playing another game in orange and black.

Major League Baseball slapped a 50-game suspension on Cabrera Aug. 15 for testing positive for testosterone in violation of the league's drug policy. A first-time offender, Cabrera sought to appeal the suspension and he initially denied wrongdoing; a liaison hired by his agents even created a phony Web site and product in an effort to explain the positive test.

Ultimately, Cabrera released a statement through the Players' Association taking responsibility for the positive test and apologizing to fans.

The Giants had 45 games remaining when Cabrera was suspended; if the Giants were to advance beyond five games in postseason play, he would be eligible to participate.

Cabrera could report to the Giants' complex in Scottsdale, Ariz., at any time, league officials confirmed to me. But Cabrera could not participate in any formal team activities on a rehab basis until he has served 40 games of his suspension. The only way the Giants could have Cabrera see live pitching is to send him to compete with their top prospects in instructional league. But he couldn't participate until Sept. 29 at the earliest, I'm told.

For now, Cabrera is not in Arizona. Nor do the Giants have any current plans to ask him to travel there.

Cabrera was leading the major leagues in hits and runs scored when the league suspended him. He's almost certain to win the NL batting title with a .346 average that has no danger of going down. The Pirates' Andrew McCutchen has slumped in recent weeks and is down to .339. The Giants' Buster Posey is at .333 but would have to hit better than .450 the rest of the way to catch Cabrera.

If the thought of Cabrera winning a batting title weren't sticky enough, the Giants must meet soon to vote on playoff shares -- and determine an appropriate amount for a player who deceived them, yet did plenty to put them in position to contend. It should make for an interesting debate within the clubhouse walls, although they could get around any disagreement by just voting Cabrera a prorated share based on games played.

Cabrera already has forfeited roughly 1.6 million in salary and tens of millions more in free agency this winter.