Suarez appeals 10-game suspension for foreign substance

Suarez appeals 10-game suspension for foreign substance

August 25th, 2023

MILWAUKEE — Padres setup reliever Robert Suarez was suspended 10 games on Friday and fined an undisclosed amount for violating MLB’s prohibitions on foreign substances. He appealed the suspension and remained active as the Padres opened a series against the Brewers.

Michael Hill, MLB’s senior vice president of on-field operations, announced the decision.

“It’s just defending myself, in terms that I didn’t use any single foreign substance,” Suarez said Friday, through an interpreter, of his decision to appeal. “… My point is I wasn’t using anything illegal. They contend that it was something, but from my point of view, from what I did, nothing was wrong.”

Suarez was ejected in the eighth inning Wednesday during the Padres’ victory over the Marlins at Petco Park. As he entered from the bullpen, he had a routine foreign substance check on his way to the mound — umpires checked his throwing hand and glove hand. Crew chief Todd Tichenor then ejected him.

“We were doing a routine spot check for a foreign substance,” Tichenor said Wednesday in a pool report. “He was observed to have a sticky substance on his glove-hand side. All four of us got together, and we deemed that it was too sticky — very sticky — and he was ejected from the game.”

Ejection for the use of a foreign substance comes with an automatic 10-game suspension.

Tichenor said Wednesday the violation was due to a substance on Suarez’s “general wrist area.” The umpiring crew had Suarez roll up his sleeve to inspect his left arm.

Suarez contended Wednesday he was only using the regular amount of sunscreen, which is not a banned substance, and that he uses during all day games.

“They know what it was,” Suarez said Friday. “It’s nothing illegal. I can just speak to that. What I was using was perfectly allowed. They contested it isn’t, so I can just use my word right now.”

Every game is important at this point for the Padres, who entered Friday six games out of a National League Wild Card spot.

Suarez, a key member of San Diego’s bullpen, can pitch as his appeal is in abeyance. He came into Friday with a 4.73 ERA in 13 appearances this season, after missing the first half with elbow inflammation. Suarez is focused on helping the team as his appeal process plays out.

“My mentality is strong,” Suarez said. “I’m just trying to help out the team in any way I can. I’m lucky to be here and helping our team currently.”

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