A major point of emphasis in this year’s MLB season has been the crackdown on foreign substances used to give pitchers an advantage.
Starting on June 21 of this year, umpires began checking each pitcher for potential use of illicit grip aids and other “sticky substances.”
Arizona Diamondbacks veteran Caleb Smith is the most recent pitcher to be hit with sanctions from this MLB crackdown. On Tuesday, the league announced a 10-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for the left hander.
10-game foreign substance suspension for Arizona pitcher Caleb Smith
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 24, 2021
Smith’s glove was confiscated after the eighth inning of the D-backs’ 4-2 win over the Phillies this past Wednesday. After his ejection, the 30-year-old pitcher vehemently denied the decision. He even had to be held back by some Arizona coaches before the umpires ultimately took his glove off the field and into the tunnel.
According to reports from Fox Sports, Smith has elected to appeal the suspension, which is set to begin with tonight’s matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Smith is the second pitcher to get hit with a suspension for sticky substances. Just last month, Seattle’s Hector Santiago was forced to sit through his 10-game suspension after a failed appeal.
So far in his fifth MLB season, Smith has allowed 82 hits and 17 home runs (5.20 ERA) through a 4-8 record.
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