Yasmani Grandal will have to wait almost a third of the season before taking aim at Petco Park's friendlier dimensions in 2013.
The San Diego Padres catcher will presumably have less power to clear them, too. Grandal was suspended for 50 games on Wednesday afternoon after testing positive for testosterone use. The punishment will start on opening day and keep him off the squad until late May.
From the Padres statement:
"We were disappointed to learn of the suspension of Yasmani Grandal for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention & Treatment Program. We fully support Major League Baseball's policy and its efforts to eliminate performance enhancing drugs from our game. Per the protocol outlined by Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement, we will not comment further on this matter."
The 23-year-old rookie was part of the package the Padres received last offseason from the Cincinnati Reds in the Mat Latos deal. He hit .297/.394/.469 with eight home runs in 60 games and was a big reason that Padres fans were harboring offseason optimism after a solid finish to the 2012 season. Missing Grandal for 50 games won't derail the 2013 squad, but it's certainly a disappointment to see one of San Diego's building blocks already getting himself into trouble.