Melky Cabrera Redemption Tour Off To A Good Start
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera would prefer to forget the last couple MLB seasons he has endured. Cabrera was caught red-handed in a steroid cover-up scandal that saw him receive a 50-game suspension for using performance enhancing drugs. The 2013 season saw the “Melk-Man” maligned with injuries for the most part of the year that limited his mobility in the outfield and totally decimated his power stroke. During the off-season a tumor was removed from Cabrera’s back that was the suspected culprit for his nagging lower body pain.
The 29-year old rehabilitated all off-season training with slugger Jose Bautista in preparation for the 2014 campaign. The results so far are exceptional as Cabrera has been by far the most feared hitter in the Blue Jays lineup through the first seven contests. Cabrera is batting .323 with a .935 OPS and 3 big flies in the first two series of the season.
There is a combination of reasons that could factor into the “Melk Man’s” resurgence none as important as the Blue Jays new hitting coach, Kevin Seitzer. The former major leaguer was Cabrera’s hitting coach with the Kansas City Royals when Melky had his breakout season with the Royals in 2011. That season saw the outfielder bat .305 with 18 homers and 20 stolen bases under the tutelage and watchful eye of Seitzer.
Secondly, Cabrera is healthy and playing for a contract as he is poised to hit the free agent market at the conclusion of the season. His two-year $16 million dollar deal with the Jays expires at seasons end with the outfielder looking to cash-in on a solid steroid-free campaign.
New York Yankees newest import Masahiro Tanaka felt the wrath of the “Melk Man” as Cabrera took him yard in the first at bat of the game to kick-off the Jays/Yankees series in Toronto.
With the Blue Jays offense sputtering and shortstop Jose Reyes shelved with a hamstring injury, the Jays will rely on Melky to carry the offense setting the table for the big-boppers.
Cabrera is living proof “Melk” does a body good.