Suspension gives Cabrera opportunity to teach
CINCINNATI -- While Everth Cabrera serves his 50-game suspension for violating MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, Padres manager Bud Black hopes the 26-year-old shortstop can make something positive out of his situation.
One of 13 players suspended on Monday following MLB's Biogenesis investigation, Cabrera will split his time between San Diego and the team's facility in Arizona, Black said. Cabrera will work on his game and continue to stay in shape, but he'll also be expected to handle some extra responsibilities off the field.
"He's going to interact with our younger players, especially our younger Latin players over there," Black said. "I think hopefully, maybe take on a little bit of a role of educator to some of these younger players just getting into the game. I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but there's also talk of him going down to our Dominican academy at some point."
Cabrera gave a tearful apology on Monday after the suspension was announced and admitted to taking a banned substance early in 2012 as he tried to recover from a shoulder injury. He said he never felt comfortable taking the substance, but he did so on the advice of Juan Nunez, who was a representative of Cabrera's agents at the time.
As a result, Cabrera issued a warning to young Latin players coming to the United States that they should be careful with whom they associate.
"I think that was right on," Black said. "I think that was well said; I think it was said from the heart. And I think in his case, he can be a great example for young Latin players to learn from, and he could be a great sounding board for them as a player that's been over here for a number of years."
In his fifth year since first appearing in the Majors in 2009, Cabrera was batting .283 with four homers and 31 RBIs for the Padres before the suspension. Having played 95 games and getting 381 at-bats, Cabrera likely won't need to play winter ball to stay sharp, according to Black.
"I thought he really had an outstanding year this year in a lot of areas," Black said. "The things that we wanted him to work on, we thought he accomplished. He took them out to the diamond."