MLB upholds suspension of Arizona pitcher Caleb Smith

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE — Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Caleb Smith has lost his appeal and will serve a 10-day suspension for the use of a foreign substance in a game.

Smith is the second major league pitcher to serve a suspension under umpires’ increased emphasis on enforcing the banned-substance rules. Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said Smith had his appeal hearing Sept. 7 and is not with the team on its current trip, which continued Saturday night in Seattle.

“He elected to fly back to Arizona,” Lovullo said. “We’ll stay within the ground rules as to what he is able to do, but my thoughts are that he is going to continue to remain in the excellent shape he’s in and be ready on that 11th day.”

Smith was ejected in the eighth inning of a game with the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 18 after umpires found a substance on his glove. He was suspended the following week and appealed.

Mariners reliever Hector Santiago served his suspension in June before being hit with an 80-game ban for use of a performance-enhancing substance.

The Diamondbacks won’t be able to fill Smith’s roster spot until he returns. The 30-year-old left-hander is 4-9 with a 5.06 ERA. He’s made 13 starts in 39 appearances this season.

“Caleb did a wonderful job in his hearing,” Lovullo said. “He was able to articulate his point. It was crystal clear that everything was unintentional. And I will continue to stand by that.”

Guardians trade OF Will Benson to Reds for OF Justin Boyd

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Guardians traded outfielder Will Benson to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday for outfielder Justin Boyd.

The defending AL Central champions also will get a player to be named from the Reds in the swap.

Cincinnati drafted Boyd in the second round last year out of Oregon State. He led the Pac-12 with a .373 batting average and 24 steals in 2022. The 21-year-old batted .203 in 73 at-bats for Class-A Daytona.

The 6-foot-5 Benson spent 28 games with the Guardians last season, batting .182 with three RBIs in 28 games. The 24-year-old struggled at the plate, striking out 19 times in just 55 at-bats.

Benson was once considered one of Cleveland’s top outfield prospects, but has since been surpassed by Steven Kwan, Oscar Gonzalez and Will Brennan.