SAN DIEGO Despite recent events, the Giants are notwilling to make a snap decision about right-hander Guillermo Mota, who iscoming to the end of his 100-game ban for testing positive for a bannedsubstance.
Mota is expected to join Triple-A Fresno in the next day ortwo as he ramps up his rehab assignment in preparation for Aug. 28. Thats whenthe 39-year-old veteran, who tested positive in May for Clenbuterol, astimulant, is eligible to be activated from the restricted list.
There are some outside voices who are calling for the Giants to take a stand against any proven PED user and release Mota, in response to Wednesdays concussive news that Melky Cabrera would besuspended for 50 games after testing positive for testosterone.
Will Mota rejoin the Giants? Im told the decision would be basedsolely on his performance and whether he is fit and ready to help the bullpendown the stretch. In other words, club officials are not prepared to ostracizehim.
Im told that while the Giants are disappointed to the pointof furious at the mistakes made by both Mota and Cabrera, they see the twosituations as different. As part of his appeal, investigators accepted Motascontention that he took childrens cough syrup laced with the banned stimulant.Cabrera, in his statement released Wednesday, took full responsibility fortaking something that he knew was against league rules.
There is a big difference between carelessness and outright deception.
Mota has made two appearances with the Giants affiliate inthe rookie-level Arizona League, allowing seven runs on eight hits in 2 23innings. The club tried to replace Mota with Brad Penny, who was inconsistentand is now on the disabled list with a right shoulder impingement. Right-handerEric Hacker was recalled from Triple-A Fresno and joined the team on Friday; hesexpected to serve as the long man a role that has become more important thisseason given Tim Lincecums struggles.
The Giants do face one roster conundrum as it pertains toMota: They cannot wait until Sept. 1, when active rosters expand from 25 to 40,to add him. They must activate him from the restricted list on Aug. 28 orotherwise resolve his situation. And if they send down another player on Aug.28 to make room for Mota, they could not recall that player for seven days.
There are ways around this issue. The Giants could designateMota and re-sign him. But as manager Bruce Bochy said, I havent put a thoughtinto it. I know hes down there working out. Well cross that bridge when weget a little closer.