UPDATE: John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Sandoval is out of the starting lineup for the first time this season on Saturday.
1:58 PM: Pablo Sandoval exited Friday’s game against the Astros after he was plunked on the left foot by right-hander Jeff Fulchino in the eighth inning.
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that X-rays came back negative, but that Sandoval said the foot was still sore and he was unsure whether he would be able to play on Saturday night.
Kung-Fu Panda batted .368/.433/.575 with three homers, 10 RBI and a 8/10 K/BB ratio in April, but has struggled to a .135/.164/.192 batting line with zero homers, two RBI and a 9/1 K/BB ratio over the first 12 games in May, so perhaps a day off isn’t such a bad idea anyway.
UPDATE: Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Braves are expected to lose as many as 12 players as a result of the sanctions, plus they’ll suffer significant restrictions on international signings for the next four years, plus they will lose a draft pick in next year’s draft.
2:46PM: Major League Baseball is expected to announce its sanctions against the Atlanta Braves for their international signing violations as early as this afternoon. Earlier today a handful of reports came out suggesting what at least part of those penalties will entail. Think multiple prospects signed in the last year or two.
Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that shortstop Kevin Maitan, catcher Abrahan Gutierrez, second baseman Yunior Severino and righthander Juan Contreras — the Braves top four international signees of 2016 — will all become restricted free agents, but it is not clear what the restrictions will be. Maitan, it should be noted, was the number one ranked international prospect in all of baseball last year. Severino was the eighth-ranked, Gutierrez the 15th-ranked and Conrearas the 41st-ranked.
In addition to losing prospects, there will likewise be financial penalties and, most likely, future signing restrictions. The severity of these penalties suggest that, whatever the specifics of the violations MLB has found to have been committed by the Braves, they are unprecedented in scope and severity.