“It was his second infraction and there had been extensive conversations with him about what is illegal,” Jason McLeod, the Padres Assistant General Manager overseeing Player Development and Scouting said in response to if Tate knew that using the substance in question was banned.
“Jed [Hoyer, the Padres General Manager] and I were both here when the first violation happened after the injury in Fort Wayne so we made sure that he was aware that this was not something he was supposed to be doing.”
Tate will be given a twenty-five game credit for undergoing substance abuse while in Arizona and in Eugene both from within the organization and from outside counselors.
Tate who has a grand total of 152 plate appearances in two and half years with the organization will now miss even more time. If he is caught a third time with the banned substance it will result in a one hundred game suspension.
“From what I know now he can’t really use the team facilities but we want to keep him in Eugene,” said McLeod on the plans for what he will be doing during the suspension.
“We think sending him back to Arizona or home and getting down on himself really isn’t the way out of this. With all of the time he’s missed he needs to work out and try to stay in baseball shape.”
For McLeod the difficult part of the equation is balancing the business needs of an organization that has invested six million dollars in a player while at the same time trying to do what is best for players that they have grown close too.
“Ultimately the organization decides to make an investment in someone, but there is a human element in it for reasons that don’t have to do with the money.”
“You get to know the players as people and you end up really pulling for them to make regardless if they are or are not the guy you picked.”
As Kris Anderson noted in an earlier article on MadFriars.com, since being drafted Tate has suffered the following injuries:
Sports hernia, two days after signing with the team
Broken jaw from an ATV accident
Strained shoulder from diving in the outfield
and this season a hyper extended knee and bruised bone from a collision with Everett Williams in Fort Wayne
“Obviously its disappointing and we are going to continue to try to do everything we can to support him,” McLeod said on the organization’ position.
“But he has to take responsibility for what he does on off the field. What just kills you is that he was really starting to do some positive things on the field.
“The game on Sunday where he went 5-6 with a pair of stolen bases is just a glimpse of the talent that he has.”
While McLeod has a great appreciation of the talent the Tate brings to the field, as does nearly every other baseball evaluator, as the saying goes talent can only take you so far.
“I really hope that this is a wake up call for him to know that we are here to help him,” said McLeod.
“But at the same time we are treating him like a man. You messed up, now you have to accept the punishment and make it right.”
Although his time has been limited to seventeen games he was hitting .294/.368/.471 between Fort Wayne and Eugene.
“He’s embarrassed because he knows how hard he has worked as a player and he was just starting to see what he could be and that is exciting.”
“As I said we are here and want to help as much as we can, but its really up to Donavan what happens next.”