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Puig drops appeal and starts 3-game suspension

@MandyBell02
August 12, 2019

CLEVELAND -- The Indians made it through their highly-anticipated series in Minnesota without losing Yasiel Puig, but they’ll miss the right-handed power bat at home against the Red Sox. Puig dropped his appeal of a three-game suspension on Monday, prompting his suspension to begin with the series opener against Boston.

CLEVELAND -- The Indians made it through their highly-anticipated series in Minnesota without losing Yasiel Puig, but they’ll miss the right-handed power bat at home against the Red Sox.

Puig dropped his appeal of a three-game suspension on Monday, prompting his suspension to begin with the series opener against Boston.

“I’m not sure what the terminology is,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He’s accepting his three games, starting tonight. So, he’ll miss this series and then he’ll join us in New York [on Thursday].”

Puig, who was acquired from the Reds at the Trade Deadline, was suspended on Aug. 1 for his role in a benches-clearing incident on July 30, while he was still with Cincinnati.

The Indians were in the process of finalizing the three-team deal the night of the melee. The club’s president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti and general manager Mike Chernoff were in Francona’s office on July 30, discussing the moving parts, as they were about to call Trevor Bauer in the room to break the news to him. Then they got word of the fracas and flipped on the television to watch.

“We've almost come to expect surreal things any time we go to complete trades,” Antonetti said. “We've had, going back to Ubaldo Jimenez warming up with someone else in there at the time we were trading for him and watching him pitch 40-something pitches and then having him do a physical after that. We've almost come to expect it. We would have preferred for that brawl to not happen [that] night, but it's part of the deal, it happens.”

The Indians will be left with a two-man bench subsisting of Mike Freeman and Kevin Plawecki.

“Obviously we can move Freeman around, so that helps,” Francona said. “And if something happened, we would [make a move]. We’re hoping for the best.”

Zimmer makes step in rehab

Bradley Zimmer served as the designated hitter in his first rehab game with the Arizona League Indians Blue on Sunday and felt well. He’s expected to move to the outfield later in the week.

“Didn’t get any hits, but came through it OK,” Francona said. “Towards the end of the week, he’ll move into the outfield and then after a little bit of that, he’ll move up into more advanced Minor Leagues where he’s not playing out there in Arizona.”

This date in Indians history

1940: Hall of Famer Bob Feller became the first pitcher in the Majors to reach 20 wins on his way to the pitching triple crown (wins, strikeouts and earned run average).

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.