Mariners’ Hector Santiago suspended for foreign substance, will appeal

Jun 29, 2021, 12:27 PM
Mariners Hector Santiago...
Mariners reliever Hector Santiago was ejected after his outing Sunday. (Getty)

MLB has officially suspended Mariners left-handed pitcher Hector Santiago 10 games for using a foreign substance during a game Sunday against the Chicago White Sox.

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The ruling is being appealed by Santago, and the suspension will be held in abeyance until the appeal process is complete.

Santiago pitched in relief Sunday for the Mariners in a resumed game that had been suspended by rain Saturday. After Mariners manager Scott Servais made a pitching change, Santiago was inspected by the umpiring crew, who found a sticky substance on the inside of his glove and ejected him from the game.

Santiago, who is now the first pitcher under MLB’s new protocols for foreign substances to both be ejected and handed a suspension, said after the game that he only used rosin, a permitted substance, and that the sticky substance found was created by rosin mixing with sweat.

“I think once they take it back and check, it’s just sweat and rosin,” Santiago said Sunday. “They’re going to inspect it and all this science stuff and it’s going to be sweat and rosin.”

Santiago’s glove was sent to MLB headquarters to be examined, but Jesse Rogers, an ESPN reporter based in Chicago, tweeted Tuesday that a source said the league “didn’t need to inspect” the glove any further and that the suspension was based on the umpires’ report of detecting a foreign substance.

If Santiago’s appeal does not result in the suspension being overturned, it would be especially costly for the Mariners as they will not be able to replace his roster spot while he is out. Seattle has dealt with a host of injuries this season, having used 52 players already on their 26-man active roster.

MLB umpires began to check all pitchers regularly last week for sticky substances. While substances can be used to get a good grip on baseballs, they can also help pitchers increase their spin rates, therefore making pitches more difficult to hit.

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