SAN DIEGO -- Though the Giants for the most part have had little public reaction to Melky Cabrera's suspension, his replacement in the lineup, Gregor Blanco, pledged his support for his teammate."We have to step up for him," Blanco said Friday, two days after Major League Baseball handed Cabrera a 50-game suspension for testing positive for testosterone. Blanco expressed admiration for Cabrera's tireless preparation -- "I always look up to him" -- and insisted that other Giants share this sentiment.
"I've talked to guys and they say the same thing," Blanco said.When Blanco received the news of Cabrera's suspension in a pregame meeting, he said he was briefly shocked. Then he recovered and said to himself, "Let's do this for Melky. ... We're going to do this for him, for us, for the fans, for everybody." Told that a considerable number of fans are unhappy with Cabrera, Blanco said, "That's something that's out of our hands." Blanco said that he tried to telephone Cabrera and got no answer.
"I think he's still a little embarrassed," Blanco said. "But he'll be fine."Because Cabrera was suspended with 45 regular-season games left, he wouldn't be eligible to rejoin the Giants this year unless they qualify for the postseason and play at least five games. If that were to happen, the debate surrounding whether to bring back Cabrera likely would prompt controversy. Not in Blanco's mind. Asked if he'd like to play with Cabrera again, he responded, "For sure, for sure."
Pagan will stick at top of Giants' lineup
SAN DIEGO -- Manager Bruce Bochy plans on leaving Angel Pagan atop the batting order, though Gregor Blanco, San Francisco's primary No. 1 hitter this year, has rejoined the lineup in left fielder Melky Cabrera's absence.Pagan hit .308 in his last 13 games before Friday, all in the leadoff spot.
"I'd just as soon leave him there right now," Bochy said.By contrast, Blanco needed a two-hit afternoon Wednesday to break a 0-for-21 spell. "I'm looking to get back to what I was doing at the beginning," said Blanco, who batted seventh and took a .236 batting average into Friday's series opener against San Diego. He reached his zenith June 9, when his average reached .291. "He looked like he was pressing," Bochy said of Blanco, who has batted leadoff 67 times, compared to 39 for Pagan. "He was trying to make contact instead of letting his swing do the work." With the Giants due to face left-handed starters in four of the trip's remaining five games, Bochy indicated that he might give freshly promoted outfielder Justin Christian, a right-handed batter, some playing time in left field. Interestingly, the left-handed-batting Blanco actually has hit better against left-handers (.260) than righties (.223).
Bochy noncommittal about Mota's return
SAN DIEGO -- Manager Bruce Bochy said that he hasn't considered the appropriateness of bringing back right-hander Guillermo Mota from his suspension for performance-enhancing drug use, in the wake of left fielder Melky Cabrera's similar penalty.Mota, who received a 100-game suspension May 7, is eligible for reinstatement Aug. 28. He's currently trying to pitch himself back into shape during a Minor League rehabilitation assignment in the Rookie-level Arizona League, where he has allowed seven runs on eight hits in 2 2/3 innings spanning two games. "We'll cross that bridge when we get a little closer," Bochy said, regarding Mota's impending playing status. The Giants announced Thursday that they recalled right-hander Eric Hacker from Triple-A Fresno to fill Mota's long-relief role.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.