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Melky Cabrera Reportedly Out for Playoffs

Melky Cabrera, we hardly knew ye.

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Melky Cabrera and the oddest goodbye ever

Wait, that guy was on the team this year?

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Melky Not Returning for Playoffs

There isn't a formal announcement yet. But there is an AP article on it. So, like the gentleman from Mitch and Murray says, I'm going anyway.

The Giants aren't going to have Melky Cabrera on their playoff roster, should they advance far enough to outlast his suspension. The speculation is over. No Melky.

The interesting part, though, might be that the decision -- at least publicly -- is supposedly a baseball decision. From Bruce Bochy, by way of Henry Schulman:

Bochy offered a huge hint of which way this will go during his weekly interview on SiriusXM's "Inside Pitch" program, suggesting Cabrera could not prepare adequately now that the minor-league season is done and the only pitchers he would face would be in instructional league.

If they said, "No, he's not going to be on the roster because he's a jerknose and we don't like him anymore," there would be a grievance filed by the union. So I guess it has to be about baseball reasons, if only on the surface. But Bochy seemed pretty earnest about it.

"It's not like he can play anywhere ... face some good competition on the rehab," Bochy said. "That's what you have to look at. When you bring back somebody who's been on the DL for an extended period it takes time to be ready. It's not that easy a game.

I'll mostly defer to Bochy's expertise on this. I certainly have no idea what it's like to spend 50 games away from live pitching, only to come back and face a staff that was good enough to make the playoffs. There's a time and place for smarmy blogger-knows-best opinions. This isn't one of them.

But I'll say this: If it were Buster Posey coming back from an injury, he'd be on the team. Maybe not starting. But he'd be there, even if he couldn't do anything in instructional league first. Same goes for Pablo Sandoval and Matt Cain. It's a sliding scale, and at some point, you have to decide whether a rusty player is better than the in-house options. And maybe "rusty" is too soft of a term -- I don't mean to minimize it. Supremely rusty Melky vs. the alternatives isn't an automatic choice.

The alternative, though, is Xavier Nady. Assume that Blanco is on the roster already. The choice is between Nady and Melky in the NLCS. Bochy says that Nady is swinging the bat well, as if the last 30 at-bats somehow means more than the lousy 625 he's had with three different teams over the last three seasons.

I take my chances with Melky. From a purely baseball-related perspective, I don't see a cogent argument for Nady.

If the concern is with clubhouse dynamics or public relations, whatever. It's a tricky situation. But if the Giants are really making this decision because of baseball reasons, I'm more than a little disappointed.

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