Monday, September 30, 2013

Welcome back Cabrera

The Padres reinstated Everth Cabrera to its 40-man roster today, after the shortstop completed his 50-game suspension. He and catcher Yasmani Grandal, the Padres poster boys for the Biogenesis scandal, served matching suspensions that bookended San Diego's 2013 season - Grandal served his over the first 50 days of the season and Cabrera the final 50.
Its fairly safe to say that Cabrera has always "wowed" since becoming a Padre as a Rule 5 draftee from the Colorado Rockies in 2008.
Just consider his rookie season. On one hand, he led all NL shortstops with 23 errors and sat out two months due to a hand injury. By the same token, who can forget his grand slam that beat the Mets on Aug. 7, 2009. After striking out in his first three plate appeareances, he nailed Francisco Rodrigurez's 3-2 offering in the ninth to give the Padres a 6-2 win. The talented Nicaraugan hit .255, stole 25 bases and scored 59 runs, all in 103 games. 
In the meantime, he continued to flash his potential and fragility. In 2010, a hamstring injury limited him to 76 games. In 2011, he separated his shoulder while playing at AAA Tucson. In 2012, he became the first Padre to lead the NL in stolen bases with 44 thefts.  In 2013, he played 69 games before going down with another hamstring injury. Later, he would become an All-Star and become the answer to a Padres trivia question -- who was the player who  collected San Diego's 60,000 hit?
And then came the Biogenesis report. In his apology to fans, Cabrera admitted fault, saying he took an unknown  substance to help recover from his 2011 left shoulder dislocation.
Cabrera in happier times. At bat in those great Camo unis, from 2010 Finest, followed by a picture of yet another steal (third base?) from his 2013 Topps card. Finally, a nice head and shoulders shot from his 2013 Topps Heritage.
A fan favorite before his suspension, and despite positive fan reaction to his Biogenesis apoplogy, it remains to be seen if Cabrera continues to "wow" his fans. With Cabrera's return, catcher Chris Robinson was designated for assignment.
All in all, this off-season should be quite interesting.

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