Jun 7, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Melky Cabrera (53) singlesto right field in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
You all know the Melky Cabrera story.
He was pretty much a nobody with a forgettable career until he had 2 great seasons in a row in 2011 and 2012. But his 2012 was tainted when he was suspended for PED use.
Your Toronto Blue Jays took advantage of Melky’s PED suspension by signing him to a 2-year 16 million dollar contract.
In 2013 the Blue Jays didn’t get a reward for the risk they took on Melky.
Melky wasn’t very funny to watch in 2013 because he unknowingly played with a tumor in his spine all season before he eventually had to call it a season.
And in the 88 games he played through he “produced” a -0.9 WAR according to fangraphs.
So that brings us to the 2014 season and I’m more than willing to bet on Melky having a good season.
I’ve been amazed at how many Blue Jays fans have turned on Melky after last season because there’s plenty of reason to think he could be good in 2014.
First off staying healthy alone should make him a decent player. He is only 29 after all. And 2013 is the only time in his career where health has been an issue for him. So there’s no reason to think health will be an issue in 2014.
Let’s also not forget what he did in very recent history.
In 2012 for the Giants he had a 346/390/516 slash line and put up a 4.4 WAR.
If you want to cry PED’s for that season in 2011 for the Royals he had a 305/339/470 slash line and put up a 3.7 WAR.
The Blue Jays also happen to employ Kevin Seitzer as their hitting coach who was also the Royals hitting coach when Melky had his breakout season in 2011.
That doesn’t guarantee anything but it also doesn’t hurt.
And hey Melky’s in a contract year in 2014 just like he was when he had that great 2012 season. So he’s got some real motivation if he wants to find work and get paid after this season.
Like I said earlier Melky’s going to be just 29 on opening day so it’s reasonable to expect a good year from him especially when you consider what he did not that long ago. It would be a big boost to the Jays and would give them one less thing to worry about during the season.