JUNE 18, 6:36pm: Machado will begin serving a four-game suspension Sunday, Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com was among those to report (via Twitter). That will end Machado’s consecutive games played streak at 229. While the superstar infielder isn’t pleased that he’ll sit out four games and Ventura will miss just one start, he didn’t like his chances with an appeal, reports Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Orioles manager Buck Showalter agrees with Machado’s stance, telling reporters (including Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com), “A good player doing good things and we won’t have him for four days because somebody hit him with a pitch.”
4pm: MLB has reduced Ventura’s suspension to eight games and he has dropped his appeal, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan tweets.
JUNE 9: Major League Baseball has announced suspensions of Royals starter Yordano Ventura and Orioles infielder Manny Machado. The former gets a nine-game ban, meaning he’ll likely miss only a single outing, while the latter will sit for four contests.
Both players appear set to appeal their punishments stemming from a recent brawl. The melee was sparked when Ventura hit Machado with a pitch, prompting the latter to charge the mound. Both players swung at each other and went to the ground as both dugouts emptied.
The suspensions don’t appear to be major causes for concern for either club, though neither is in great position to deal with a loss at their respective positions. Baltimore is already without shortstop J.J. Hardy, with Machado sliding over from third to cover for him. And the Royals have had plenty of struggles in its starting staff.
This is the second significant set of suspensions relating to on-field fisticuffs in recent weeks. Previously, Rougned Odor led a series of other players from the Rangers and Blue Jays by taking an eight-game suspension (later reduced to seven) for slugging Toronto slugger Jose Bautista.