Major League Baseball handed down the punishments from Thursday's brawl at U.S. Cellular Field, and based on the pre-appeal sentences, even the league might be getting sick of the Royals.
On the White Sox' side (all suspensions come with undisclosed fine):
- Jeff Samardzija: Five games
- Chris Sale: Five games
- Tyler Flowers: Undisclosed fine
Matt Albers will end up missing the most time, as he suffered a compression fracture on a finger during the scrap. But that doesn't count as league-issued ... I'm assuming, anyway. Injuries like this are why basebrawls are ill-advised. Hopefully the press release says, "White Sox place Matt Albers on 15-day disabled list (cautionary tale)."
On the Royals' side:
- Yordano Ventura: Seven games
- Edinson Volquez: Five games
- Lorenzo Cain: Two games
- Kelvin Herrera: Two games
Based on what happened on the field, it's odd to see Samardzija and Sale, apparently the club's Strike Force, receive the same suspensions. If they weighed Sale's Bay of Pigs attempt on the Kansas City clubhouse, not so much.
It's also surprising -- and satisfying -- to see Ventura receive a harsher punishment than Samardzija despite the fact that he didn't throw a punch, although he pretended to want to at various points. (That he received the larger suspension while Adam Eaton didn't even receive a fine indicates where the league places the blame.)
Volquez received the same sentence as Samardzija, which makes sense since he threw the biggest punch of the proceedings. I'd like to know what Herrera did to get two games, since he wasn't singled out for any particular action over the course of the melee. Like Ventura, his punishment may be based on past behaviors, since he's already appealing a five-game ban for throwing behind Brett Lawrie in Oakland. With Cain, we at least saw that he was in the middle of the point of escalation, even though it's unclear why Samardzija felt compelled to charge him.
With the appeals, there's a slight possibility that the Sox could get by without either Samardzija or Sale missing a start -- perhaps if both get theirs reduced to three games. However, since the next off day isn't until May 4, Robin Ventura would probably need a well-timed rainout to strategically alter his rotation to avoid missed time.
That could change the short-term calculus for Carlos Rodon, who is still stretched out enough to start after throwing 60 pitches in his debut. With Albers going to the DL, my first guess is that the Sox will call up a reliever to take Albers' spot, and Ventura will try to get by with six relievers in order to have Rodon ready for a suspension-altered date.