After speculation that was first reported on Wednesday by CSN Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly, the San Francisco Giants have come to a conclusion regarding their most controversial postseason roster decision. After delaying their final decision for prior to Thursday's home finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Giants have made an official announcement regarding the playoff status of suspended outfielder Melky Cabrera.
"We're moving forward without Melky," manager Bruce Bochy said.
Despite receiving a 50-game suspension on August 15, Cabrera was eligible to return if the Giants' postseason extended past five games. Thus, if the team defeated their National League Divisional Series opponent, most likely the Cincinnati Reds or Washington Nationals, Cabrera would have the opportunity to return as a member of the National league Championship Series roster if the Giants wanted to bring him back. After weighing the pros and cons, San Francisco has decided to do without the services of this year's All-Star Game MVP.
Despite the extended layoff, Cabrera could have definitely been an asset for the Giants during the postseason. Leading the league in hits, runs and the NL batting title chase prior to his positive test, he was clearly a force to be reckoned with in left field. Considering who the Giants have put in his place since his suspension (Gregor Blanco, Xavier Nady and Brandon Belt when Buster Posey is starting at first base), he could offer the Giants another solid bat in the outfield along with Hunter Pence and Angel Pagan.
With a lineup consisting of Pagan, Scutaro, Cabrera, Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Pence, Belt, and Brandon Crawford or Joaquin Arias, the Giants could have definitely had a lineup that was more dangerous from top to bottom. Now because of this announcement, this potential lineup will not happen. Some of the reasons why the Giants probably did not want to bring Cabrera back included the negative stigma and media attached to the suspended player, discontent by some players and members of the organization, and the team's great chemistry and winning ways (the Giants are 26-12 since his suspension) in his absence.
With less than two weeks before the start of the 2012 postseason, the Giants have taken their stance on the Cabrera situation and look forward to the playoffs without one of the better hitters in the majors this season.
Melky to be left off Giants' playoff roster, CSN Bay Area
Bochy: "We're moving forward without Melky", CSN Bay Area
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