Big Willy style. Brewers reliever Will Smith was suspended eight games after he was caught with a foreign substance on his arm on Thursday. On Saturday night, Orioles reliever Brian Matsuz was ejected in the 12th inning of a 0-0 game against the Marlins, also for having a foreign substance on his arm.
Marlins manager Dan Jennings requested home plate umpire Jordan Baker ask crew chief Paul Emmel to take a look at Matusz’s right arm. After an inspection, Matusz was ejected. Matusz had struck out Justin Bour and got J.T. Realmuto to ground out for the first two outs of the inning. T.J. MacFarland relieved Matusz, throwing nine pitches before getting Christian Yelich to strike out looking to send the game into the 13th inning.
We should expect news of a suspension on Sunday.
Marlins closer Steve Cishek blew four of his first seven save chances, part of the reason why the Marlins got off to a 16-22 start under manager Mike Redmond before he was fired on May 17. Things haven’t gone much better since then, as the Marlins entered Saturday’s game against the Orioles on an eight-game losing streak, five have come under GM-turned-manager Dan Jennings.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that, before Redmond was fired, the Marlins had some interest in trading for Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. The club is 16-27 now, 9.5 games out of first place in the NL East. The Marlins may not even consider themselves buyers anymore and may instead pawn of veterans including Dan Haren, Mike Dunn, and and Michael Morse leading up to the July 31 trade deadline.
Papelbon, 34, would have been and would still be an upgrade in the Marlins’ bullpen. The veteran has gotten the save in all 11 opportunities while posting a 1.50 ERA with a 23/4 K/BB ratio in 18 innings. He’s owed $13 million for the 2015 season and his 2016 option worth $13 million will vest if he finishes 31 more games between now and the end of the season. (It vests with 100 combined games finished between 2014-15. He had 52 last season and has 17 so far this season.)
Things are really ugly with the Marlins right now, both on and off the field. The team held their annual Fish ‘N Chips casino-style charity event Thursday night and advertised that fans would get an opportunity to “rub elbows” with some of their favorite players. However, none of the players showed up.
According to Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald, attending the event was not mandatory. However, a handful of players committed to going before ultimately bailing. Fans paid between $100 and $175 to come to the event.
Marlins president David Samson said he was disappointed with how things unfolded and planned to address the situation with the players. That’s not going to be awkward at all, especially after they put a manager with no experience in the dugout earlier this week. Steve Cishek said the players weren’t trying to send a message about the manager situation, but that they were just tired and frustrated:
“I can see why people are making a big deal about it — people pay money, want to be around the players,” said relief pitcher Steve Cishek, who is also the club’s player representative. “But you’ve got to realize we were here all day. Everyone is exhausted. You look at Dee Gordon, he’s stumbling around the locker room after the game, played his heart out. Everyone battled yesterday. It was just not the right timing. It’s tough to explain. It’s just the way things are going for us right now. All of our guys have taken it to heart. Everyone is an adult here. They just didn’t show up. Their decision.”
New manager Dan Jennings and most of his coaching staff were present for the event, as well as team president Mike Hill.
The Marlins have lost eight straight games and are 0-5 since Jennings moved from the front office into the dugout. After going into the spring with big expectations, the team sits at 16-27 and in last place in the National League East.