Astros' Ronel Blanco ejected due to foreign substance on hand, faces 10-game suspension

Blanco threw a no-hitter in his first start of the season

Houston Astros right-handed pitcher Ronel Blanco was ejected on Tuesday night for the use of a foreign substance on his hand.

At the start of the top of the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics, umpires met with Blanco and manager Joe Espada for a few moments, with the pitcher unde high maintenance.

Blanco's glove was confiscated and first base umpire Erich Bacchus ran off the field with it and took it somewhere before returning.


Ronel Blanco after ejection

Ronel Blanco #56 of the Houston Astros is ejected in the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park on May 14, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Blanco held out his hands and patted them together in front of the umpires while they inspected his glove before he was ejected, and he did the motion again after he was tossed.

The four umpires then discussed the matter together, and before long, Blanco was canned.

Major League Baseball cracked down on foreign substances in 2021 when, simply, pitchers were too dominant with the sticky stuff. The substances are used to increase spin rates, which causes more break on the ball, leading to less offense.

Blanco has been a diamond in the rough for the Astros this season. Tuesday marked just his 15th start, and 32nd appearance, in the majors. But he tossed a no-hitter in his first start of the season earlier this year and owns a dominant 2.08 ERA.

Ronel Blanco with ump

Houston Astros starting pitcher Ronel Blanco (56) talks with second base umpire Tripp Gibson after being ejected following a foreign substance check during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Houston.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


But now, he is the sixth pitcher to be ejected for foreign substances since the crackdown. Under MLB's rules, he will more than likely serve a 10-game suspension.

The crackdowns came to somewhat of a head last year when Max Scherzer, then with the New York Mets, was ejected, despite only using a combination of sweat and rosin. Rosin is a legal substance, while sweat is inevitable during a baseball season. However, the two together create a tacky feel.

Scherzer swore up and down that he hadn't used anything foreign, but the umpires said the feeling on his hands was "inconsistent" with just sweat and rosin.

Ronel Blanco

Houston Astros starting pitcher Ronel Blanco (56) reacts after being ejected prior to the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park.  (Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports)

Domingo German was also ejected, and suspended, last year after an outing in which he was perfect through three innings. Ironically, he threw a perfect game the following month.

The season continues to be a rough one for the 'Stros, who, after making the ALCS seven straight seasons, have gotten off to a 15-26 start.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Authored by Ryan Morik via FoxNews May 14th 2024