Crew chief Joe West, who was the first-base umpire, said he didn't see Sanabia spit on the ball, and therefore it was used in the game. But later in the game, West did order Sanabia to discard another ball for improperly going to his mouth.
"Honestly, I think it was unintentional," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "He did it probably without even knowing and Joe saw it and threw the ball out."
Baseball rule 8.02 (a) (2) states "the pitcher shall not expectorate on the ball, either hand or glove." The umpire has the discretion to eject the pitcher immediately or warn the pitcher against doing this again, if he does not see any intent to do anything sinister with the baseball. Sanabia rubbed the ball profusely after spitting on it, indicating he was not trying anything malicious.