Given 3-game punishment, Ohlendorf appeals

Price also suspended one game, serves Friday night vs. Phillies

May 13th, 2016

PHILADELPHIA -- Some sort of suspension is generally expected as a consequence for being ejected once benches were warned after an exchange of batters hit by pitches. Yet Reds reliever Ross Ohlendorf and manager Bryan Price still did not see their discipline coming.

Ohlendorf was suspended Friday for three games and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball for hitting David Freese with a pitch in the ninth inning on Wednesday against the Pirates. Price was suspended for one game and also received a fine.

"I was surprised. I plan to appeal because I didn't do it on purpose," said Ohlendorf, who can be active on the roster pending the appeal outcome.

Price served his punishment in Friday's 3-2 loss to the Phillies. Bench coach Jim Riggleman managed in his place.

"Actually, I wasn't [expecting it]," Price said before the game. "I haven't been involved with this hit-by-pitch-ejection thing yet. I understood the ejection from the game but not the suspension. But I do know now, after being informed, that it is standard protocol that a pitcher will get three games and can appeal and a manager gets one and can't."

Wednesday's game featured six hit batsmen, including four Pirates. Over the last four seasons of games between the National League Central rivals, a combined 84 batters have been hit by pitches.

In the top of the fourth inning, Reds starter Alfredo Simon threw a 3-0 fastball high-and-tight to Francisco Cervelli, sending him to the ground for Ball 4. On the very next pitch, Simon plunked Jung Ho Kang with a fastball on the back. To begin the bottom of the fourth, Pirates pitcher Juan Nicasio plunked Brandon Phillips with his first pitch, drawing warnings to both benches by home-plate umpire Jeff Kellogg.

Although there were three more plunkings before Ohlendorf entered, Kellogg used discretion to not eject pitchers because the pitches were either offspeed or the game situation made it clear they were unintentionally hit.

Kellogg reminded Ohlendorf before he took the mound in the ninth that the bench warnings were in place. With two outs, he hit Freese on the hand with a 2-0 fastball and was immediately ejected, along with Price.

Ohlendorf didn't realize suspensions were automatic, but also felt his decision to appeal was an easy one.

"Because it wasn't intentional and then with the suspension they told me they thought it was," he said. "Whether I'll win or not, I don't know, but I thought the right thing to do was to appeal it. Hopefully I do win, but we'll see what happens."

Price understood that policing hit-by-batter situations is often subjective.

"We don't go out there to try to hit people, because in turn your guys start to get hit," Price said. "From a penalty standpoint, now it's left up to the umpires to keep the game from getting out of control and guys trying to take shots at each other, then culminating in a fight or something that could lead to serious damage. ... I understand the rule. I think it's going to be very, very difficult under any situation to understand how to officiate it."