TUESDAY: The Pirates suspended Kela after he got into an altercation with Hector Morales, their director of cultural readiness and peak performance coach, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports tweets.
MONDAY: The Pirates announced today that they have reinstated righty Keone Kela from the 60-day injured list. He’ll move directly onto the suspended list, however, with the team also announcing a two-game suspension for an unstated violation of the Uniform Player’s Contract.
The UPC (see it here) allows clubs to “suspend the Player without salary for a period not exceeding thirty days” upon a “violation by the Player of any regulation or other provision of this contract.” Written notice must be given to the player and the MLB Players Association.
It’s rather unusual to see such team-issued discipline, even if it is contemplated by contract. In some cases, collectively bargained agreements vest sole disciplinary authority for certain matters in the commissioner’s office. The Joint Drug Agreement, for instance, specifically forbids “any adverse action pursuant to a Uniform Player’s Contract” owing to violations of the terms of that agreement.
There’s no indication as of yet as to what led to Kela’s suspension. Neither is it evident whether he will attempt to challenge it in any way.
Kela, 26, has missed much of the season with shoulder issues. He carried a 4.63 ERA with 11 strikeouts and four walks through 11 2/3 innings before hitting the shelf. Kela had been expected to function as a key late-inning arm for the Bucs. He turned in a strong run last year after being acquired at the trade deadline.
It’s not clear whether there’s any realistic chance that Kela could be dealt, but it’s at least hypothetically possible — especially if he’s able to show good health upon his return and the Pirates decide to move some assets. Kela is earning $3.175MM this year and comes with another season of arbitration eligibility.