Suarez drops appeal, set to begin 10-game suspension

September 1st, 2023

Padres setup reliever was suspended 10 games and fined an undisclosed amount for violating MLB’s prohibitions on foreign substances. After initially appealing the ban, Suarez dropped the appeal prior to the Padres' series opener against the Giants on Thursday, manager Bob Melvin said.

Michael Hill, MLB’s senior vice president of on-field operations, announced the decision to suspend Suarez last Friday.

Suarez was not available to reveal his reasoning behind dropping the appeal. 

“I wasn’t using anything illegal," Suarez said on Friday after receiving the suspension. "They contend that it was something, but from my point of view, from what I did, nothing was wrong.”

Suarez was ejected in the eighth inning on Aug. 23 during the Padres’ victory over the Marlins at Petco Park. As he entered from the bullpen, he had a routine foreign substance check on his way to the mound -- umpires checked his throwing hand and glove hand. Crew chief Todd Tichenor then ejected him.

“We were doing a routine spot check for a foreign substance,” Tichenor said in a pool report following the game. “He was observed to have a sticky substance on his glove-hand side. All four of us got together, and we deemed that it was too sticky -- very sticky -- and he was ejected from the game.”

Ejection for the use of a foreign substance comes with an automatic 10-game suspension.

Tichenor said Wednesday the violation was due to a substance on Suarez’s “general wrist area.” The umpiring crew had Suarez roll up his sleeve to inspect his left arm.

Suarez contended Wednesday he was only using the regular amount of sunscreen, which is not a banned substance, and that he uses during all day games.

“They know what it was,” Suarez said Friday. “It’s nothing illegal. I can just speak to that. What I was using was perfectly allowed. They contested it isn’t, so I can just use my word right now.”

Suarez, a key member of San Diego’s bullpen, continued to pitch while his appeal was in abeyance. He surrendered the game-tying homer in a loss to St. Louis on Tuesday night, his final outing before dropping the appeal.

It's been a rough season for Suarez, who missed the entire first half while dealing with elbow inflammation. He signed a five-year deal to remain in San Diego during the offseason and has since posted a 5.51 ERA in 17 outings.