Major League Baseball just announced Braves starter Kevin Gausman has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games for throwing at Marlins starter José Ureña in the second inning of Friday’s game. Gausman is appealing his suspension, so he will continue to pitch as scheduled until the appeal process is completed.
Ureña hit outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. on the elbow with a pitch last August while he was in the middle of a five-game homer streak. The plunking caused tempers to flare and both teams’ benches emptied. Ureña ended up receiving a six-game suspension. Thankfully, Acuña was not injured.
The Braves carried that with them all the way into May the next year. Gausman, who joined the Braves on July 31 last season, was immediately ejected after his pitch sailed behind Ureña.
As I always mention every time a pitcher is suspended for throwing at hitters, the suspensions need to be longer to serve as a deterrent for wielding a baseball as a weapon. Five- and six-game suspensions simply cause the pitcher’s team to push his next start back by one or two games, hardly an inconvenience.