ST. PETERSBURG -- Daniel Cabrera is healthy, if not happy. The right-hander, who has been slowed by injury concerns in the last week, learned Friday that his appeal of a six-game suspension has been overruled. Cabrera, who was sanctioned for hitting New York's Alex Rodriguez, will serve his ban over the next two series and get back on the mound next Saturday.
"I'm really disappointed," said Cabrera, who currently leads all American League pitchers in walks, wild pitches and hit batsmen. "It looked like there were only two people that believed I was trying to hit A-Rod -- the umpire and the guy that worked for the Commissioner. I didn't try to hit anybody, but they found me with that and there's nothing I can do."
Cabrera, who hit Rodriguez and was ejected for the transgression all the way back on July 29, had the hearing of his appeal delayed by the Olympics, since Bob Watson, baseball's vice president of on-field operations, was in Beijing. He's pitched five times since that start, logging a 1-2 record and a 7.71 ERA. Cabrera had been scheduled to pitch again Saturday, but instead he'll have to sit out his team's entire six-game road trip.
Rodriguez had said in the aftermath that he didn't think the errant pitch was intentional, and the Orioles had hoped the suspension would be reduced or even perhaps dropped altogether in light of the appeal.
"I don't know if surprised is the right term," said Baltmore manager Dave Trembley of the rejected appeal. "The way I'm looking at it is although we don't agree with it -- we don't think he was intentionally throwing at anybody -- we have to accept it and move on and prepare accordingly. What this allows him to do now is to take some time to adequately prepare himself to make his next start, which will be a week from tomorrow. I think he'll be a full go at [that] particular point in time."
Cabrera sparked concerns in the week when he refused to answer questions about his health. Baltimore's coaching staff had no idea that something was bothering him until he made his comments to the press, and they pushed him through a magnetic resonance imaging test that showed no structural damage in his pitching arm.
The veteran said he's had some pain in his forearm and his back, but he also said he feels healthy enough to pitch.
"When you play baseball, you always have some pain," he said. "You can pitch with some pain, and this one isn't a big thing. It's just a little bit of pain. ...I've been having a problem with my back, but it's nothing out of control.
"I wasn't looking for days off," he added moments later. "They pay me to pitch. When I don't pitch, I'm not going to say I don't get paid, but that's not why I'm here. It's something where I can't help people. Now I've got to deal with that."
Cabrera, who has worked to an 8-8 record and a 5.24 ERA, said he was relieved by the MRI results and ready to pitch again. But when the suspension news was broken to him, he decided that it was best to get it out of the way.
"I was not waiting for that," he said of the appeal. "I was supposed to pitch tomorrow. I talked to Dave and I think the best thing is to do it now, so that's why the suspension is starting today. Once the six games are done, I'll be ready to pitch."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.