New York Yankees right-handed pitcher Michael Pineda was suspended for ten games on Thursday, one day after he was caught possessing a foreign substance on his person in his start against the Boston Red Sox. Pineda has decided not to appeal, which means the suspension will begin immediately and the Yankees will be forced to carry a 24-man roster for the duration of his suspension.
The 25-year-old pitcher was spotted with a brown substance smeared on his neck by Red Sox manager John Farrell, who brought it to the attention of the umpiring crew. Upon investigation, the substance was determined to be pine tar, and Pineda was ejected in accordance with Major League Baseball rule 8.02 (b).
During a post-game interview, Pineda admitted what everyone watching on television already knew.
“In the first inning, I could not feel the ball and I didn’t want to hit anybody so I put [pine tar] on,” Pineda admitted, declaring that he would learn from the mistake.
However, it is unknown why Pineda did not learn from a previous mistake. The pine tar incident from Wednesday comes just two weeks after Pineda was spotted with a substance on his pitching hand while playing against the same Red Sox team. Because it was not brought to the attention of the umpires, no disciplinary action ever came of the issue.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman voiced his disappointment in Pineda on Thursday, indicating that the team had multiple conversations with the young right-hander since the first incident.
“I’m surprised that we as an organization are in this position,” Cashman noted when talking to reporters. “There have been enough conversations. And obviously there will be more now, or there have already been more now, even in-game when he was ejected from the game. I think after the last go-around with the same team, clearly there were a lot of conversations about this. There are no secrets there.”
Despite the ten-game suspension, Pineda will miss just one start due to off days built into the Yankee schedule. Though nothing is official, it is expected that David Phelps, who lost out to Pineda for the final spot in the rotation, will receive a spot start.