Everyone remembers when the lists of PED users came out not too long ago. Some major players like Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Ryan Brau, and Gio Gonzalez were found on the lists. Some lesser known players were also found on those lists and among them are Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal. Before his name even came up on the list, though, he was already suspended for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. His 50 game suspension was handed down in November, and while he’s allowed to participate in drills, he can’t play in any type of game.
Last season, the 24-year old catcher batted .297 with 8 home runs and 32 RBIs in only 60 games. The Cuba native was set to be the Padres opening day starter most likely before his suspension was handed down. Now with this on his shoulders, he plans to appoplogize to his teammates when they all report on Saturday. He also plans to address the media on Saturday as well.
Replacing Grandal behind the plate during his suspension will be Nick Hundley and John Baker. Hundley played in 56 games last season and hit a lackluster .157 with 3 homers and 22 RBIs. He’ll provide some strength behind the plate on defense though as he has a career fielding percentage of .991. Baker appeared in 63 games last season and posted a .238 average. He had a fielding percentage of .990 last season.
While replacing the young Grandal won’t be an easy thing to do, maybe the competition will spark Hundley or Baker to be a producer in spring training and carry over into the regular season.