Padres' Cabrera looks to future after PED suspension

The SportsXchange

Everth Cabrera is eager to put the 50-game suspension that prematurely ended his 2013 season far in the rearview mirror.

The switch-hitting shortstop, the Padres' lone representative in the All-Star Game last July, was suspended after being implicated in the Biogenesis scandal.

"Those two months, I was thinking about my situation and the stuff that happened to me," Cabrera said after the full roster started drills at the Padres' Peoria, Ariz., training base on Feb. 18.

"Now, I have to go out and work every single day. I have to come back from zero. I worked every day during the offseason to get back to normal, to find that momentum again.

"I paid. Now I'm here and excited to be here."

Before he was suspended, Cabrera was the Padres' Most Valuable Player last season. He was hitting .283 with a .355 on-base percentage. He scored 54 runs in 95 games and led the National League with 37 steals. He also had 15 doubles, five triples and four homers in 381 at-bats.

Cabrera's suspension was linked to taking performance-enhancing drugs during the 2011-2012 offseason as he battled back from a series of shoulder injuries.

"I wasn't getting better," Cabrera said last August the day after being suspended. Cabrera was one of the few caught up in the Biogenesis scandal who addressed the public immediately after drawing a suspension.

"I did something I shouldn't have," he said. "I am sorry that I have let everyone down. I will come back next year stronger than ever."

He returned planning to keep that pledge.

NOTES, QUOTES

--3B Chase Headley will miss two weeks of spring training after suffering a right calf strain Feb. 22 during rundown drills. Headley, 29, who will be a free agent after the end of the 2014 season, last spring broke a bone at the tip of his left thumb in a Cactus League game and missed the first two weeks of the regular season. "It's frustrating," Headley said. "At the same time, if it had to happen, I'd rather have it be now."

--LHP Max Fried, 20, the seventh overall pick in the 2012 draft, has been shut for at least two weeks due to soreness in the flexor-mass area where the forearm meets his left elbow. When Fried first suffered the injury while playing long-toss in pre-spring training drills, there was fear that he would be a candidate to be the seventh Padres pitcher to have Tommy John surgery since the start of the 2012 season. However, an MRI conducted Feb. 11 showed no damage to the ulnar collateral ligament.

--LHP Alex Torres was still stranded in Venezuela awaiting clearance of a visa issue as of Feb. 23. The Padres believe the problems arose from the late trade that brought in Torres from the Tampa Bay Rays. They expect the relief pitcher to arrive by early March.

--LHP Corey Luebke had his second round of Tommy John surgery on Feb. 18. His original elbow reconstruction surgery was performed on May 23, 2012, by the late Dr. Louis Yocum. Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said the ligament transplanted into the elbow in the first surgery "never took." Dr. James Andrews performed the latest operation. Luebke will miss all of the 2014 season.

--Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler said the club's new owners are open to expanding the 2014 payroll past the already committed, club-record $87 million if the team is in contention for a postseason berth. Four years ago, the Padres spend only $38 million on payroll. The payroll was $43 million in 2011, $58 million in 2012 and around $70 million in 2013.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The time he missed last year was unfortunate. It was a learning experience for him. He's in good shape now physically and in a good frame of mind mentally. So he just has to get back on the field and play. And that's where he feels the most comfortable." -- Padres manager Bud Black, on SS Everth Cabrera's 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's policy prohibiting performance-enhancing drugs.
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