Arenado suspended 2 games for role in scuffle

April 29th, 2022

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals star third baseman , a top-five producer in the National League in several major offensive statistics early this season, was suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball for his role in Wednesday's bench-clearing fracas with the New York Mets.

Also, Cards reliever Génesis Cabrera received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his role in the scuffle. Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who has been out all season with right shoulder inflammation, was fined an undisclosed amount for participating in the dispute while being on the injured list. For the Mets, Yoan López and Taijuan Walker were fined undisclosed amounts.

Arenado appealed his suspension and went 2-for-4 in the Cardinals' 8-3 win over the D-backs. Cabrera served his suspension Thursday and was unavailable out of the bullpen.

"I'm not sure what that [appeal] process looks like, but he will appeal and Cabrera served his suspension today," manager Oliver Marmol said. "I respect the decision that the league took [with Arenado], but obviously it's being appealed for a reason."

Arenado reacted angrily after López threw a high-and-tight fastball in the eighth inning of the Cardinals' 10-5 defeat of the Mets on Wednesday at Busch Stadium. After yelling and motioning out at López, Arenado shoved Mets catcher Tomás Nido to get at the pitcher. Both benches ultimately emptied, and Mets slugger Pete Alonso went to the ground when he was corralled by Cardinals first-base coach Stubby Clapp. Cabrera pulled Alonso and Clapp to the ground, hence his one-game suspension.

MLB said Arenado was suspended "for contributing to the incitement of the incident." Cabrera's one-game suspension was "for his actions during the incident," per MLB.

Arenado said he went to the plate fully expecting to get plunked, but he took exception to López's pitch being near his head.

"That was more of the problem," Arenado said on Wednesday of López's pitch being up and in on him. "I get what's going on in this series and it's part of the game. I don't know how close it was, but it felt close."

Tempers flared throughout the series as six Mets and four Cardinals were hit in the three-game series – two of which were won by the Mets. Alonso was hit in the head on Tuesday on a 2-2 changeup by reliever Kodi Whitley and Starling Marte was clipped on the elbow with the bases loaded by St. Louis reliever Aaron Brooks. Those pitches led to New York veteran Max Scherzer and others from both teams yelling at one another from the dugouts.

On Wednesday, Edmundo Sosa was hit in the elbow early in the game. Then, when J.D. Davis was plunked in the ankle by Cabrera, López's first pitch of the bottom of the eighth sailed high and tight on Arenado. That led to the midfield fracas.

Arenado, who drove in three runs on Wednesday for the third time this season, entered Thursday first in the NL in OPS (1.155) and slugging (.703), second in WAR (1.7), second in RBIs (17), third in average (.375) and fourth in home runs (five) and OBP (.452).

Cabrera (1-0, 2.16 ERA) has appeared in seven games this season for the Cardinals, striking out seven in 8 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting just .143 off Cabrera this season.