July 2nd, 2013

Porcello suspended six games for hitting Zobrist

It appears that Rays manager Joe Maddon wasn’t alone in his reaction to Rick Porcello’s pitch off Ben Zobrist’s shoulder on Sunday. Major League Baseball just announced a six-game suspension for Porcello along with an undisclosed fine.

The six-game suspension is common for a starting pitcher in this instance, usually ensuring that he misses a turn in the rotation and the team has to fill his spot. Because this suspension falls so close to the All-Star break, however, the Tigers can tinker their rotation order out of the break so that Porcello, who’s on turn to pitch next Wednesday, doesn’t have to replaced. To do that, though, they need his appeal to last into the middle of next week.

Porcello said he has appealed the suspension, but declined comment aside from that. Jim Leyland had no comment either way.

If the appeals process doesn’t stretch out long enough, the Tigers could use Jose Alvarez in Porcello’s place. Leyland said today that Anibal Sanchez will return to the rotation Saturday in Cleveland.