Melky Cabrera has company.
MLB just announced that A’s right-hander and former Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for testosterone.
Last week Cabrera was suspended for 50 games following a positive test for testosterone in the middle of a career-best season in which he hit .346 with a .906 OPS and won All-Star game MVP honors.
Colon hasn’t had quite that type of impact, but he’s been plenty solid for Oakland on a one-year, $2 million contract with a 3.43 ERA and 91/23 K/BB ratio in 152 innings spread over 24 starts. And now at age 39 it’s safe to wonder if he’s thrown his last pitch in the big leagues.
MLB previously investigated the stem-cell treatment that Colon received two years ago for his elbow in an effort to make it back to the majors after not pitching at all in 2010. He was successful in his comeback and MLB cleared him of any potential performance enhancing-drug violations.
It’s a tough blow for the A’s in the AL West and Wild Card races, but with Brett Anderson looking good in his return from Tommy John surgery last night and Dan Straily waiting in the wings at Triple-A their rotation depth is strong.
UPDATE: Colon won’t be appealing and admitted his guilt via an official statement: “I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A’s. I accept responsibility for my actions.”
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.