NEW YORK - Melky Cabrera has been disqualified from the National League batting title at his own request.
Major League Baseball and the players' association said Friday that they agreed to change the rule governing the individual batting, slugging and on-base percentage champions for this season.
Serving a 50-game suspension, the San Francisco Giants slugger entered Friday with a league-leading .346 average, seven points ahead of Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen. Cabrera was suspended Aug. 15 for a positive test for testosterone.
MLB could not unilaterally disqualify Cabrera, needing an agreement from the union to alter the rules.
Cabrera has 501 plate appearances, one fewer than the required amount for the batting title if the Giants play 162 games. But he would win the title if an extra hitless at-bat is added to his average and it remains higher than that of any other qualifying player.
With the rule change, that no longer applies to a player who served a drug suspension.
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