Yasmani Grandal received a 50-game suspension by Major League Baseball in early November for a violation to the league’s performance enhancing drug policy. Grandal’s violation was triggered by high levels of testosterone during a routine test conducted by the league. He was reinstated Tuesday and will make his return to the San Diego Padres’ active roster. John Baker has been optioned to Triple-A in order to make room for Grandal.
Grandal’s arrival to the Padres lineup last season left an immediate impact. He hit .297/.394/.469 in 226 PA over the season’s second half, adding 8 HR and 36 RBI in 60 games. He walked almost as frequently as he struck out, a sign of maturity in his presence at the plate for the now 24 year old. It was am impressive debut campaign.
November’s announcement of Grandal’s suspension – and the reasoning behind it – suddenly called into question the validity of all he’d done the year prior. Grandal instantly went from “franchise fixture” to “just as bad as the steroid users”. As if that weren’t bad enough, Grandal’s name came up again in late January when the Miami New Times first revealed information surrounding the performance enhancing drug violations tied to the BioGenesis Clinic. Grandal’s association with BioGenesis tied all the way back to his time at the University of Miami.
The Padres organization has stood behind Grandal, despite that fact that the catcher has yet to fully explain how he failed the test in the first place. He issued an apology to teammates early in Spring Training, but there hasn’t been much said publicly about the situation by player or team. He’ll need to regain the trust and support of the fanbase because of the move, but that could easily be done simply by performing on the field and at the plate. There’s still reason to believe that he’ll develop into a solid MLB regular despite this indiscretion.
Baker saw just 46 PA on the year, backing up Nick Hundley, and hit .150/.261/.150 in 16 games.