San Diego Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin has been suspended 25 games after testing positive for amphetamines.
Bleacher Report National MLB writer Scott Miller reported the news Wednesday:
The Padres' Cameron Maybin has been suspended 25 games for testing positive for an amphetamine.— Scott Miller (@ScottMillerBbl) July 23, 2014
Bob Nightengale of USA Today noted that the Padres were anticipating this suspension, which is why they made a roster move on Wednesday:
Yes, and Maybin's suspension is why the #Padres called up Jeff Francouer, knowing the suspension was coming down today.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 23, 2014
After the suspension was announced, both Maybin and the Padres released separate statements about it. Manager Bud Black declared his support for the drug program and will welcome Maybin back, via Padres.com:
Our club fully supports Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Cameron has accepted full responsibility for his violation and apologized to his teammates and coaches. We are all looking forward to his return.
Also from the team's website, Maybin's suspension is effective immediately and he will be eligible to return on Aug. 20 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Maybin's statement was very forthcoming and honest about what happened, via Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal on Facebook:
I have been undergoing treatment for several years for a medical condition, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), for which I previously had a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). Unfortunately, in my attempts to switch back to a medicine that had been previously ok’d, I neglected to follow all the rules and as a result I tested positive. I want to assure everyone that this was a genuine effort to treat my condition and I was not trying in any way to gain an advantage in my baseball career. I understand that I must accept responsibility for this mistake and I will take my punishment and will not challenge my suspension. I apologize to my family, friends, fans, teammates, and the entire Padres organization. I look forward to returning to the field and contributing to the success of my Club.
Under the terms of MLB's Joint Drug Program, a Therapeutic Use Exemption allows a player to take a substance for a pre-existing condition that is approved by an independent licensed physician.
Even though steroids tend to grab all the headlines, amphetamine use is an issue that Major League Baseball has taken seriously since adopting a stricter drug policy. In a special to ESPN.com, Matt Kreidler wrote in 2005 about why it was so important to start testing for the drugs:
This is, on some levels, a straight-up medical concern for MLB and its policymakers. Amphetamines are widely understood to be much more commonly used in clubhouses than steroids, and "they are way, way more dangerous," professor -- and stimulant expert -- Charles Yesalis told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in May. "They can stone-cold kill you on the spot."
A former first-round pick of the Detroit Tigers, Maybin has been disappointing throughout his MLB tenure. He was part of the Miguel Cabrera trade going to Florida in 2008 and was dealt to San Diego prior to the 2011 season.
In eight MLB seasons, the 27-year-old Maybin has hit .248/.309/.370 with 32 home runs and 92 stolen bases. Injuries limited him to just 14 games last year, and a ruptured biceps tendon suffered in spring training cost him nearly all of April this season.
This suspension puts Maybin and the Padres in an interesting spot. He's signed through 2016 at reasonable salaries—$15 million from 2015-16, though given his level of production and now this suspension, his future may lie elsewhere.
The only value Maybin adds anymore is on defense, but FanGraphs' defensive metrics have shown the center fielder to be erratic with nine runs saved in 2012, costing the Padres five runs in 2013 and saving four runs so far in 2014.
Maybin is still young enough to entice you with his potential, especially as a center fielder who has proven capable of playing the position at a high level, but he's never built off an impressive 2011 campaign when he hit .263/.323/.393 with 40 stolen bases.
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