I’m just going to throw out that if Melky Cabrera was never caught using performance-enhancing drugs, he would have been the San Francisco Giants MVP last year instead of Buster Posey. Cabrera was on pace for easily over two hundred hits, and he hit for a slash line of .346/.390/.516.
First of all, .346 would have led the National League last year if Cabrera hadn’t removed himself from the batting title competition (a gesture that gained back a good portion of the respect I lost for him). But what is more impressive than a .346 average is a .516 slugging percentage from a man who had never slugged above .470 and whose career average is .414, that’s one hundred points higher (PED-enhanced? probably).
Is losing Cabrera going to be that huge of a loss for the Giants though? After failing a drug test last year, he will most likely be a little more fearful of using PEDs. So without the performance enhancers, is Cabrera really the player that Giants fans thought he was, or will he revert back to his New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves days?
Because they added Hunter Pence last year, the Giants didn’t lose all that much in their outfield. Instead of Angel Pagan, Gregor Blanco and a replacement player, it is Pagan in center, Blanco in left and Pence in right. That’s still a pretty good outfield.
If Cabrera turns out to be the player everyone thought he was the last couple of years, and doesn’t revert back to his early years, then the Giants took a hit.
But is that realistic? I believe Cabrera will be somewhere in between the two, but regress a significant amount closer to his Yankee days. If that does happen, then the Giants aren’t taking a hit at all.