Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal has been suspended for 50 games for violation of the league’s policy against performance enhancing drugs. Grandal tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone.
Grandal was part of the package acquired by San Diego from Cincinnati when the Padres sent Mat Latos to the Queen City. Grandal made his big league debut in 2012 and wasted little time in showing why he was rated as the 53rd best prospect in the game by Baseball America. In 60 games for the Padres, Grandal compiled a .297/.394/.469 line that included eight homers and 36 RBI. He also displayed great balance at the plate, walking nearly as often as he struck out; a rarity for a young hitter.
Cynics will look at the above slash line and assume Grandal doped his way to big league success, but this young player has had no trouble at the dish since being selected out of the University of Miami in the first round of the 2010 draft. In three minor league seasons, Grandal has a combined .904 OPS.
While Grandal issued a statement accepting responsibility and apologizing to the fans and his team, he offered no explanation for the positive test. I suppose you can take that for what it is. Had he gone the same route as so many before and claimed it was a tainted supplement that caused the positive test, no one would have believed him anyway. At least he didn’t build a phony website to sell a fake supplement that would have been tainted in order to skirt the punishment like Melky Cabrera did.
Grandal was slated to be the Padres’ number one catcher headed into 2013, but with him suspended, the team will turn to Nick Hundley and John Baker in tandem behind the plate. Many had considered Baker a non-tender candidate before the Grandal news came out.