Some have viewed the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants as a potential playoff preview as both teams look primed to play in October. The Giants, however, will look a lot different moving forward as Melky Cabrera has been suspended for 50 games due to a positive drug test involving a performance enhancing substance.
Cabrera has been a huge part of the Giants success this season with the second best batting average on the majors at .359. He bats in the middle of their order and has been a consistent complement to Buster Posey.
Here is a statement Cabrera released on his suspension:
"My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used. I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down."
Cabrera holds a slash of .346.516.906 in 113 games this season and leads the National League with 84 runs. He and the Giants are currently tied with the L.A. Dodgers at the top of the N.L. West with records of 64-53. With 45 games left this year, he will miss the rest of the regular season and five playoff games if they make it. Needless to say, their chances to contend have been significantly altered by his absence.
This blow to the Giants could affect their hopes to make the playoffs and presents a significant advantage to the Dodgers in their division. It looks to also help the chances of the St. Louis Cardinals who are one game behind San Francisco in the N.L. wild card race and the Arizona Diamondbacks who are six games out.