Giants make a decision on Melky Cabrera

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Giants make a decision on Melky Cabrera

From Comcast SportsNetSAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The San Francisco Giants have informed Melky Cabrera's agent they won't bring the suspended outfielder back at any point this postseason.Manager Bruce Bochy made the announcement before Thursday's series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco's final regular-season home game."We have decided not to send Melky on a rehab assignment because we do not intend to add him to any playoff roster," Bochy said. "We had to make this decision early because Melky would have to start rehabbing in Arizona. We have decided to develop our roster from our current group of players. They've done a terrific job during the critical part of the season. We have informed Melky's agent and they understand. I just like the way this club has played down the stretch and moved on. So we're going to move forward without Melky."Bochy said the NL West champion Giants will go into the best-of-five divisional series with the current roster. Cabrera's suspension takes him through the first five games of the playoffs, so he would have been eligible in the NL championship series if San Francisco advanced."While I am disappointed that I won't have the chance to join my team in the playoffs, I wish my teammates the best in the postseason and I'll be rooting hard for them to bring another world championship to San Francisco!" Cabrera said in a statement through his representatives.The All-Star game MVP, batting an NL-leading .346, was suspended Aug. 15 for a positive testosterone text. Last Friday, Cabrera asked to be removed from contention for the NL batting crown, saying he had no wish to win a tainted title.Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum appreciated that the team made a decision well in advance of the playoffs so everyone could stay focused on the next step, avoiding a potential distraction."I'm not saying that he's not somebody that when he's doing what he's doing that we could use," Lincecum said after a 7-3 win against Arizona. "I'm not saying we wouldn't appreciate the addition, but we've got something good right now. I'm not sure, but that would probably bring some controversy with it as well."Hall of Famer Wade Boggs feels Cabrera made the right decision about taking himself out of the race for the batting title."I'm glad that he stood up and said that he didn't deserve it, number one, because he cheated to get to that point," Boggs said in a phone interview. "I would have thought Major League Baseball would have stepped in before that and sort of disqualified him on that fact. But he's a stand-up guy, and as far as (public relations) concerns, it's was pretty good for his corner, for him to do something like that."Bochy was asked whether anything happening that could change in the team's thinking regarding Cabrera if there was a significant injury or other unforeseen circumstance."I can't say I can right now," Bochy said. "We've made this decision and that's where we're at right now. I'm not going to get into anything that's hypothetical. We have a number of outfielders. ... We have a big roster here. They've all done a good job and stepped up when we needed them. We're going to have a 25-man roster from the guys you can see here right now."Cabrera was batting .346 with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs in his first season with San Francisco and is five hits shy of 1,000 in his big league career. He is set to become a free agent after the season.Bochy said he would talk to his players about the decision either later Thursday or Friday. Players weren't consulted beforehand, Bochy said of what was an organizational decision."Melky understands," Bochy said. "I think it's in the best interest of this club if you look how we've played and all we've been through. These guys have really done a great job. They're the reason why we're in this situation. They've earned this and we're going to go with the 25 guys we have here."Outfielder Gregor Blanco said he spoke to Cabrera this week, but didn't talk business. He still supports Cabrera as a teammate and friend, but also understands the Giants' stance on this one."That's their decision. We can't do anything about it," said Blanco, who has picked up a bulk of the playing time in Cabrera's left field spot. "As a group, we've done a great job, and we have to continue to do it. We can't think about Melky."

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Dusty Baker on Bryce Harper's return and a potential playoff platoon at first base

Dusty Baker on Bryce Harper's return and a potential playoff platoon at first base

Though Dusty Baker isn’t a doctor, he apparently isn’t averse to using an old school method or two to diagnose his players’ injuries.

So when Bryce Harper, ailing with a jammed left thumb, recently told his manager he was ready to return to the lineup, Baker responded by giving it a little pinch.

“He said 'Ow, what'd you do that for?' and I said 'Okay, I got my answer,'" the Nationals’ manager said with a laugh.

Baker must be comfortable with how Harper is feeling lately, as the 23-year-old right fielder is back in the lineup after four days off.

"He might have been ready to go [on Thursday],” Baker said. “So if a guy tells me he's ready, if I have a luxury, I like to give them one more day off. I just noticed that a lot of guys say they're ready and you bring them back and they're really not ready. I would prefer that you be champing at the bit to get back [instead] of a person to just say that you're ready.

Prior to the injury, the reigning NL MVP had hits in five of his previous seven games. So with three games left, the Nats are hoping the reigning Harper can get back in a groove before the postseason begins next week.

Zimmerman a platoon bat? It’s a question that seemed unfathomable on Opening Day, but the veteran first baseman’s 2016 inconsistency-filled odyssey has some wondering if Baker might consider other options come October. The answer, for now, is no.  

“That hasn’t crossed my mind,” the skipper said.

Clint Robinson is starting at first in Friday night’s game against the Miami Marlins, but the move doesn’t appear to be a sign of things to come. Baker said the decision was merely to keep Zimmerman healthy and afford Robinson some at-bats while he can get them. Still, for an offense will be without Wilson Ramos (and a fully-healthy Daniel Murphy), the lineup will need a boost where it can get it.

“I don’t really believe in platoon, platoon," Baker said. "There’s certain guys that I feel that Clint may have a better chance of being successful against. But that’s not a platoon for me.”

In other words, Baker is staunchly in Zimmerman’s corner. And slowly but surely, the 31-year-old has been rewarding his manager's faith. Zimmerman has hits in six out of his last nine games, including a trio of two-hit efforts. It might be too late to salvage his career-worst .219 average, but the Nats still believe the one-time face of the franchise will show up when it counts the most. 

"I just keep in mind with Zim that ‘hey, man, you can be the man for a long period of time like we know that you’ve done,’" Baker said. "We’ve seen him do it before. So we need Zim. We need him badly.”

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Bradley Beal (concussion) not only Wizards player sitting out open practice

Bradley Beal (concussion) not only Wizards player sitting out open practice

RICHMOND, VA. -- Bradley Beal made an appearance for the first time at Wizards' practice in two days, but he didn't take the floor for them Friday night in an open workout at Siegel Center on the campus of VCU. 

Marcus Thornton (right thumb) and Ian Mahinmi also didn't particpate. Mahinmi practiced earlier Friday but was held out of the evening session for an undisclosed reason. He sat at the scorer's table and received treatment with a stim device on what appeared to be his right knee/lower right leg.

Beal (concussion) was struck in the head with an elbow from Mahinmi at Wednesdays' afternoon practice and has to complete the NBA's mandatory 48-hour concussion protocol before he's cleared to return to full activity. As of the evening session, it wasn't clear if Beal had passed the protocol but was being held out for precautionary reasons or if he'd even gone through the process yet to be cleared.

Mahinmi went through Fridays' first practice session before sitting. Thornton has been a scratch since hurting the thumb on his shooting hand in the same practice session as Beal on Wednesday.