Robinson Cano gets caught up, suspended 80 games for PEDs
Major League Baseball suspended Seattle Mariner star second baseman Robinson Cano for 80 games without pay after he tested positive for a banned substance - a diuretic called Furosemide. According to a statement by Cano, the diuretic is not a performance enhancing substance, but it used to treat “various medical conditions”. Cano has accepted the suspension and will begin serving it right away.
This news comes as Cano just underwent surgery for the fractured fifth metacarpal he suffered after being hit by a pitch in a series against the Detroit Tigers. The Mariners placed the 35-year-old All-Star on the disabled list following surgery. It's a devastating blow to the Mariners, who have goten off to a solid start as they contend for the AL West crown. While there is not very much good news about this story, one positive about it if you’re a Mariners fan is that Cano will be eligible to return in August (although he won't be eligible for the postseason due to his suspension.)
Seattle’s offseason acquisition of former Miami Marlin Dee Gordon now looms large. Gordon has played centerfield for the Mariners this season, but a return to second base is likely. Speaking of Gordon's, former White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham is another option up the middle for the Mariners.
Cano’s suspension hurts the Mariners offense most of all. It will be extremely difficult for the replacement players to match Cano’s production at the plate. Cano’s absence also means less protection for his teammates in the middle of the order, particularly Jean Segura and Nelson Cruz.
This news must be devastating to playoff-hungry Mariner fans in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle hasn't made the postseason since 2001, the longest playoff drought in the four major North American sports leagues. Entering play on May 15th, the Mariners are a game-and-a-half out of first place behind the Angels and Astros, who are tied atop the division. It's tough to imagine the Mariners keeping pace with those two teams without Cano in the lineup.