For the second time this season, the Indians will have to shuffle their rotation a tad to make room for a starter's suspension. This time it's right-hander Jeanmar Gomez, who was suspended five games and fined for throwing at the Royals' Mike Moutstakas on Saturday.
Gomez will appeal and expects to make his next scheduled start on Saturday in Oakland, according to MLB.com. The Indians can take advantage of Monday's travel day to manipulate the rotation so they don't need another starter, just like they did earlier this season when Ubaldo Jimenez was suspended five games for his beaning of former teammate Troy Tulowitzki in a spring training game. Jimenez filed an appeal of his suspension before dropping it following his first start of the season.
When Jimenez appealed his suspension, Matt Snyder wrote the loophole makes MLB's suspensions for starting pitchers a joke, and he's still right, even when it's a different Indians pitcher benefitting from the rules.
Gomez's plunking of Moustakas was obviously intentional, coming a half-inning after Royals starter Jonathan Sanchez hit Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo. Sanchez hit Choo last season, breaking the outfielder's thumb. The beaning by Sanchez on Saturday was not intentional -- a fact Choo readily admitted --and both benches were warned. Gomez then took matters into his own hand to try to correct Sanchez's mistake. Even by beanball standards, it was silly to hit Moustakas. He hit Moustakas square in the backside, but he still intentionally hit a batter and if his aim were off or if the batter reacted differently, he could have hurt another player on purpose. There's no room in baseball for that and having a start pushed back a game or two is in no way a suitable punishment.
Third baseman Jack Hannahan was fined $500 and manager Manny Acta was fined an undisclosed ammount, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.