The rebuilding of the San Diego Padres hit a road bump as catcher Yasmani Grandal tested positive for testosterone. According to the Associated Press, he will serve a 50 game suspension starting at the beginning of the season.
The 23-year-old former first round pick of the Reds was acquired by San Diego a year ago for Mat Latos. The deal looked like a winner for San Diego, as first baseman Yonder Alonso and pitcher Edinson Volquez, also included in the deal, contributed to the Padres season.
But Grandal was the big prize. The 23 year old catcher hit for a good average (.297) and for decent power (an OPS of .863) over 226 plate appearances.
He looked like a large piece of a contending San Diego puzzle.
But today he is a suspended player. According to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, Grandal is not appealing his suspension and will serve it.
The Padres will need a new solution at catcher for at least the first 50 games of the year.
Nick Hundley is under contract, but batted .157 with an OPS of .464 over 225 plate appearances last season. John Baker did not do much better in 63 games last year.
With Grandal starting, the Padres catching staff was going to be one of their strengths. Now it will be another question mark.
How much of Grandal's positive numbers can be connected to his positive test? There is no way to know for sure.