The MLB handed down an 8-game suspension of RP Joel Peralta today stemming from his pine tar incident on Tuesday against the Washington Nationals this week. The Tampa Bay Rays announced that they will be appealing the suspension, but I have to ask, why? Will the team win the suspension? No. Why prolong the eventuality?
The ejection of Peralta from Tuesday night’s game after officials found pine tar in his glove, opened up a debate about the use of the substance. According to the rule book, it’s illegal, plain and simple. Peralta got caught. Yes, he was fingered out by his former team, but he was caught. Commit the crime, do the time. But why the appeal?
Tampa Bay is struggling to field a team in recent weeks. Evan Longoria has been missing since early May. Luke Scott and Matt Joyce are on the DL as well. SP Jeremy Hellickson just hit the 15-day DL this week. Peralta’s suspension will not clear a roster spot for yet another call up from AAA Durham, the Rays will be rolling with 24 players for the 8 games he is suspended.
The Rays front office has made a believer out of me in their moves over the past several seasons, but this move I do question. Why would you prolong the inevitable, especially given the upcoming schedule?
If I was in the Rays front office, I would have sat Peralta tonight. He could sit as the Rays finish up the dreaded interleague play this weekend against the Philadelphia Phillies. He would then have been sitting for three games against the Kansas City Royals and the first game in a four-game series against the Detroit Tigers.
As it stands now, the appeal process could drag out and his suspension could be drawn out into the July 2-4 series against the AL East leading New York Yankees.
I rarely question moves by the Rays front office, perhaps they think they might get Peralta’s suspension reduced, but if they don’t, they are really playing with fire with an injury reduced roster heading into a pivotal point of the season.
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