Joel Peralta suspended eight games for pine tar, will appeal

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MLB announced an eight-game suspension for Rays reliever Joel Peralta, who was ejected from Tuesday night’s game after manager Davey Johnson and the Nationals alerted umpires to pine tar on his glove.

The confiscated glove was then sent to the MLB offices in New York for further examination, all while Johnson and Rays manager Joe Maddon engaged in a very public spat about the unwritten rules of baseball.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Peralta will appeal the suspension, which means he’ll be eligible to pitch in the meantime and may wind up being forced to sit out fewer than eight games when the process is complete.

Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com notes that then-Angels reliever Brendan Donnelly also received an eight-game suspension for having pine tar on his glove back in 2005, so Peralta’s suspension length has precedent.

Yu Darvish suffers setback during rehab start

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Cubs starter Yu Darvish suffered a setback during Sunday’s rehab start with Low-A South Bend, The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg reports. Darvish threw just 19 pitches in the first inning and felt fine. However, when he took the mound to warm up ahead of the second inning, Darvish “felt something” in his injured right elbow. He exited the game to undergo an MRI.

Darvish’s condition isn’t yet known, but it’s obviously bad news. Darvish signed a six-year, $126 million contract in February and has made just eight starts this season. He owns a 4.95 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 21 walks in 40 innings and hasn’t pitched since May 20.

Darvish said he hopes to return before the end of the regular season to help the team. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is realistic about the situation. He said, “It’s a process. We’ll see how he feels. It’s been a long road back, so there’s no point in rushing it now. We probably have one chance given where we are on the calendar to get this right, so that’s the priority.”

Mike Montgomery has pitched out of the rotation in Darvish’s place but he is also currently on the disabled list. Tyler Chatwood, with a 5.22 ERA and 93 walks in 101 2/3 innings, was booted from the rotation at the end of July after the Cubs acquired Cole Hamels. The Cubs, entering Sunday 20 games over .500 and fewer than five games ahead of the Cardinals and Brewers in the NL Central, need some reliability at the back of the rotation.