Yasmani Grandal to be reinstated after 50-game PED ban
SAN DIEGO (AP) Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal is eligible to be reinstated Tuesday from a 50-game suspension for a positive testosterone test that called into question just how good his rookie numbers were.
Beyond saying he made a "mistake," Grandal has never told team officials why he took PEDs. Now they say Grandal will have to quiet any skepticism with his play.
Grandal was part of San Diego's second-half resurgence in 2012, hitting .297 with eight home runs and 36 RBIs in 60 games. The switch-hitter was called up on June 1, made his big league debut the next day and was sent back down. He was back up less than a month later, for good.
Padres general manager Josh Byrnes and manager Bud Black said they'll decide Tuesday whether to reinstate Grandal for that night's game at Seattle or keep him at Triple-A Tucson a little longer. Grandal was allowed to play 10 games at Triple-A to prepare for his return.
Byrnes said the decision will be `'based upon performance," and it's likely Grandal will be reinstated. Starting catcher Nick Hundley is batting .252 with three home runs and 13 RBIs, while backup John Baker is hitting just .150 with two RBIs.
Once he's back, "I would expect him to play well and help us win games," said Byrnes, who obtained Grandal, first baseman Yonder Alonso and pitchers Edinson Volquez and Brad Boxberger from Cincinnati for ace Mat Latos in December 2011.
"He has been a very good performer through college, the minors and his early major league career. As I've said, I understand the question related to his performance. He's has a long career ahead of him. Hopefully, this was a lesson learned, and he can quiet any skepticism with quality play."
Grandal apologized to his teammates at the start of spring training. He also read a statement in which he apologized to fans and the organization.
He said he took full responsibility for my actions and planned to put "that mistake behind me."
Grandal also did not comment substantively on January's report by Miami New Times that he appeared in records of Biogenesis of America LLC, a closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla., under investigation by Major League Baseball for distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.
Black echoed Byrnes in noting that Grandal was highly recruited out of high school, played at Miami and spent less than two full seasons in the minor leagues at a demanding position.
"I think that speaks for the level of talent he has," Black said. "This didn't happen overnight. He was a performer at age 16, 17. He put up numbers in college; he put up numbers in the minor leagues. And last year when he came up he had a nice start to his career.
"I expect him to perform long term to the extent of what we saw last year. Do I think he's going to hit two home runs the first game he comes back? Probably not. That's a great feat. But I do suspect he will be a very fine major league player for a long time."
Grandal wasn't paid during his suspension and didn't accrue service time.
"Players want to play. That's what players do. So when you take that away from a player, especially when you're healthy, that's the punishment, man," Black said.
"He apologized for his actions the previous season. He realized that he made a mistake. He told the club that he wouldn't do it again. He said he understands what he did was wrong. In that vein, he apologized to the guys for what this did to the team for 50 games," the manager said.
The Padres rebounded from a 2-10 start to overtake the Los Angeles Dodgers for fourth place in the NL West. They had pulled within two games of .500 a week ago but have lost five of six, including 9-0 at Seattle on Monday.
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