After the 2012 season, the San Diego Padres had the utmost faith that rookie catcher Yasmani Grandal would make a case at an All-Star bid and possibly even Rookie of the Year in 2013. With eight home runs, a .297 batting average and 36 RBI in just 60 games, I believe the expectations were not far-fetched.
Unfortunately, Grandal tested positive for elevated testosterone on November 7th and was suspended by the MLB for the first 50 games of the 2013 season. This was a kick in the gut for the Padres as they had him slated to be hit third or fourth and give them added depth in a lineup that has struggled scoring runs in years prior.
Instead, Grandal will be replaced by Nick Hundley, who will more than likely bat eighth for the Padres in 2013.
Having just 226 plate appearances under his belt, Grandal will definitely lose a step not being able to participate in team workouts or travel to spring training in a few weeks. The ultimate question now becomes whether or not the second-year catcher will be able to make a difference for the club once he finishes his 50 game suspension. I don’t expect Grandal to be back in the fold until at least the All-Star break, as I highly doubt he’ll be able to jump right back into the fire.
I had lofty expectations for Grandal prior to his testing positive but, with his schedule now being completely thrown out of whack, I have my doubts. At 24-years-old he has plenty of years to make up for his illegal actions however, 2013 is a lost year for Grandal in my mind.