Everything that didn’t go wrong in 2010 for the Giants is going wrong in 2012.
Key players are hurt, an ace is struggling, a clubhouse leader is having a crisis of confidence.
And now this.
Guillermo Mota, a key part of the Giants bullpen, has failed another test for performance enhancing drugs and will have to sit out 100 games. Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi is reporting that Mota tested positive for Clenbuterol, a stimulant. Mota’s first suspension occurred following his 2006 season with the New York Mets.
Losing Mota is a huge blow to a bullpen that is already trying to compensate for the loss of Brian Wilson and Jeremy Affeldt. One of Mota’s main roles is as the Giants long-relief man. With Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito struggling, his absence will be sorely missed.
Last season, Mota had 18 appearances in which he pitched at least two innings, including two instances when he came in after the Giants starter was knocked out in the first inning.
This season, the 38-year-old hasn’t had to make as many multi-inning appearances. As The Chronicle’s John Shea notes, Mota’s 5.06 ERA this season is deceiving, as he’s only given up runs in three of his nine relief chances.
To fill the void left by Mota, we’ll see more of Clay Hensley, Steve Edlefsen and Travis Blackley. I’d like to see the Giants bring Heath Hembree up from Fresno, where he isn’t being challenged. He has given up just two runs in 12 innings and has eight saves.