The Giants bullpen has been less-than-stellar for the last few weeks, and they are getting an arm back tonight. Guillermo Mota has been reinstated following his second suspension for a banned substance.
But the question is, should the Giants really be so welcoming toward Mota, a two-time offender of baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy?
Following Melky Cabrera’s shocking suspension two weeks ago, the Giants organization is once again fighting the perception that they knowingly or unknowingly harbor and employ guilty and suspected violators of the drug policy.
Some wonder if the Giants should have just released Mota and avoid having a twice-suspended player on their roster. Until this morning, it was unknown whether the Giants would activate Mota. But then an ESPN reporter broke the news Tuesday morning:
And about 2 p.m. PST, Mota arrived at the visiting clubhouse in Houston, where the Giants start a three-game series:
Mota met with the media shortly after he arrived in Houston:
Manager Bruce Bochy addressed Mota’s return to the team:
It also sounds like Bochy and the Giants are aware of their image problems, but they aren’t going to let mistakes made by players get in the way.
The Giants bullpen has a 5.74 ERA over the last week, fifth-worst in the NL. So at this point, they can use just about any help they can get.
But Mota should have been one of the exceptions. He’s 39 years old, so if they had released him it wouldn’t have been a huge deal. Teams wouldn’t be lining up to sign him.
The Giants feel Mota can help their play more than he will hurt their image. Hopefully their calculated risk pays off.
For the rest of this season at least, the team is linked to two violators of MLB’s drug policy. One helped them get to the position they are in right now, and the other may help them get into the playoffs.
The Giants had better be ready for any backlash if they do make the playoffs on the backs of two MLB drug offenders.