Thursday, June 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays' Joel Peralta suspended eight games for pine tar incident

WASHINGTON — The Rays say the eight-game suspension for reliever Joel Peralta was more than he deserved but about what they expected.

Now they're deciding whether to try to do anything about it, as Peralta filed an appeal and thus remains eligible to pitch, which he did in Thursday night's game.

The disciplinary action, announced in the afternoon by Major League Baseball, was the result of the umpiring crew finding "a significant amount" of pine tar in Peralta's glove in Tuesday's game against the Nationals and was essentially in line with previous cases.

Peralta said he was fine with the decision, that "whatever they do is going to be fair, because that's what it's going to be. So I'm pleased. I'm okay."

Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said it was not surprising and "not different necessarily than what we expected them to issue."

But manager Joe Maddon, outspoken throughout the incident, didn't take it as well.

"Of course it's too much, and of course it's unfair," Maddon said. "But that's what they came down with, and it's going to be up to them to try to manipulate it from there, possibly."

The filing of the appeal means the suspension is put on hold until a hearing is held, which could take a couple of weeks (but before the All-Star break) to arrange with officials from MLB, the players union, the Rays and Peralta, or until it is dropped.

Sometimes, even when there is little chance for a reduction in punishment, an appeal is filed, and then dropped, as a team will try to "arrange" for the best time for a suspension to be served. In this case, the Rays, in the midst of a stretch of playing 20 consecutive days up until the All-Star break would have to play shorthanded for more than a week.

Peralta said he was waiting to hear more from the Rays about how to proceed; Friedman said they're "still figuring that out."

MLB senior vice president Joe Garagiola Jr. was not made available to discuss the decision since an appeal was pending. There is precedent for his decision. In 2005, Angels reliever Brendan Donnelly was caught in a similar situation and given a 10-day suspension that was reduced to eight on appeal.

MLB, however, has since changed its sentencing guidelines from days to games, so Peralta's punishment could actually end up longer.

Peralta, who played for the Nationals in 2010, was still upset over the incident that started when Washington manager Davey Johnson, admittedly acting on inside information, asked the umpires to check Peralta's glove when he came in to pitch the eighth inning.

"I don't know why he did it," Peralta said. "I would like to know why, but I'm not going to ask that."

The 36-year-old right-hander did seem to be narrowing the field of candidates who supplied the information to Johnson, who took over as manager last season. He said he knew it didn't come from any of the players, as several told him "they were really sorry about what happened."

And he ruled out one of four members of the coaching staff who were with the team in 2010, current first-base coach and former Triple-A manager Trent Jewett, who he said was awesome and "kind of like my dad in Triple A." That leaves pitching coach Steve McCatty, bullpen coach Jim Lett and hitting coach Rick Eckstein.

Whenever Peralta does serve his suspension, the Rays are expected to send down a position player and add a reliever to keep the bullpen at full strength. That could mean a callup from Triple A, such as Dane De La Rosa or Josh Lueke, or waiting until the middle of next week for Brandon Gomes to be eligible for recall or Kyle Farnsworth to come off the disabled list.

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

ST. PETERSBURG — Missing all of 2017 might have been the absolute worst thing for Matt Duffy.Frustratingly idled as he eventually recovered and rehabbed from ongoing left heel issues, he couldn't play the game he loved, couldn't show the Rays o...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

HOUSTON — The Rays were engaged in a third straight tight, go-either-way battle with the defending champ Astros on Wednesday.Until they were not.A brutal seven-pitch sequence by starter Nathan Eovaldi changed everything, as he gave up three con...
Published: 06/21/18
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Published: 06/20/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

RHP Nathan Eovaldi said before his rough start Wednesday against the Astros that he was pitching better than his numbers showed. Well … In four starts since his six no-hit innings debut, he's 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA, allowing eight homers, four Wed...
Published: 06/20/18
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said the key to how the pieced the lineup together was the opportunity to give Cron (who is struggling) and Duffy (who is doing well) back to back days off. … Looking ahead to the weekend, the Rays will use RHP Ryne Stanek as...
Published: 06/20/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Times sports columnist Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud to discuss Kevin Kiermaier's return to the Rays, whether Victor Hedman should win the Norris Trophy for the NHL's best defenseman, Bucs expectations for this season and Barry Trotz's next c...
Published: 06/20/18
How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

There was some interesting inside baseball elements that factored into the late innings of Tuesday's 2-1 Rays win.* First, on Matt Duffy's double off reliever Hector Rondon to lead off the eighth.Duffy said he doesn't like "to guess" what a pitcher i...
Published: 06/20/18
Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

HOUSTON — Energy.That's what Kevin Kiermaier said he felt he'd provide most in rejoining the Rays Tuesday against the Astros after missing two-plus months recovering from thumb surgery."I like to think I bring energy on both sides of the ball, ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

HOUSTON — The starting pitcher walked seven over seven otherwise solid innings Tuesday. That seemed weird enough for the Rays. Then the next pitcher they brought in was the one who started Monday's game. Even more bizarre.And then there was thi...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

This is how odd LHP Blake Snell's night was — he became the first pitcher to work seven or more innings and walk at least seven since Edwin Jackson threw his 149-pitch, eight-walk no-hitter at the Rays on June 25, 2010.If you weren't aware of t...
Published: 06/19/18