SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the team made the decision a long time ago that Melky Cabrera was not going to be part of the postseason roster after he served a 50-game suspension for testing positive for testosterone.
Although Cabrera was reinstated to the Giants’ 40-man roster right after the divisional series, the Giants long ago had made the decision that activating him would disrupt team karma.
“No, we crossed that bridge a while back,” Bochy said before Sunday night’s 6-4 loss to the Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLCS. “And really haven’t brought it up or thought about it until you just mentioned it. I hadn’t thought about it because we said a while back, that we would go ahead and go with guys that helped us get here.
“And since that happened they’ve done a great job. I thought [Gregor] Blanco had a good series against Cincinnati. With Gregor and Xavier Nady to help out, we decided to move on and that’s what we’ve done. The biggest reason was the role that they played in helping us get to where we’re at. We really came together as a ballclub after that and these guys earned it. And we felt that these guys should be out there for the playoffs,” Bochy said.
Cabrera was having a superb season when he was caught by MLB’s drug-testing program. He played his final game on Aug. 14.
He was leading the National League with a .346 batting average in 501 plate appearances. Ironically, Cabrera, who was the All-Star Game MVP, is highly responsible for the NL — and that may be the Giants — having home-field advantage in the World Series. But it doesn’t appear he’ll be part of the team if the Giants advance.
The Giants have been able to make up for Cabrera’s void with Marco Scutaro, who was acquired from Colorado at the trade deadline and hit .306. “Scutaro has been fantastic, has fit right in, has had some big hits for us,” said Giants general manager Brian Sabean.
Cabrera and his agents — Sam and Seth Levinson — are being investigated by MLB to determine if they had a role in a phony website to perhaps create a loophole to attempt to beat the system.
Cabrera cost himself a lot of money as he is a free agent this offseason. According to Giants officials, he didn’t do himself any favors by being uncommunicative with his teammates and the organization after he tested positive. The Giants likely will not re-sign Cabrera.
Sabean, who has carved a niche as one of the best GMs in baseball, thinks Giants bench coach Ron Wotus and pitching coach Dave Righetti belong in the conversation when teams are listing candidates for managing jobs.
“Absolutely. Wotus has worked with three different managers as a bench coach — Dusty Baker, Felipe Alou, and Bruce Bochy — and Righetti is a student of the other side of the game. He knows that side of the game better than any pitching coach,” Sabean said.
Wotus, 51, is a Colchester, Conn., product and Righetti is a former Yankee and, since 2000, the Giants’ pitching coach. Righetti has overseen an excellent Giants’ pitching staff over the years, but is seldom mentioned for managing jobs. Sabean feels part of the Giants’ success through the years is “having great coaching. We have outstanding coaching of our players. It’s a real tribute to these guys. I think we create stability and continuity and that’s very important.”
Carpenter gets call
Chris Carpenter is set to pitch Game 2 for the Cardinals Monday. In three regular-season starts since he returned from a right shoulder injury, Carpenter was 0-2 with a 3.71 ERA. But the fact he’s back pitching in the postseason is a major coup for the Cardinals, who perform their best when he is in the rotation. He won Game 3 of the NLDS.
“I think my stuff has gotten better and better. And I’m hoping that’s the case for the next one here,” said the New Hampshire native. “And still mechanically at times, I’m fighting stuff.”
Carpenter is considered the spiritual leader of the team.
After the Cardinals clinched the NLDS on Friday night, Carpenter insisted that the clubhouse celebration not begin until Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma, heroes of the series, were present after their postgame interviews.
“They were great,” Carpenter said. “It was fun to watch them do what they do. There was no way we were going to start the celebration without our whole team there. We’re a ballclub. We’re one team and everyone contributes. It just wasn’t going to happen.’’
Giants first base coach Roberto Kelly, who was hit by a line drive in batting practice during Saturday’s workout at AT&T Park, was not scheduled to be on the field after suffering a concussion. ‘I don’t see him being out there for at least these two games, if not longer,” Bochy said. The Giants put assistant hitting coach Joe Lefebvre at first . . . Tim Lincecum pitched two scoreless innings and may now be in line to pitch Game 4 for the Giants. “We still have our options there,’’ said Bochy.