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Nyjer Morgan ruling delayed, Doug Slaten will start serving suspension

After speaking with league officials this morning to appeal his dual suspensions, Nyjer Morgan will play tonight as he and the Nationals wait for the league to make its final ruling. Meanwhile, left-handed reliever Doug Slaten will begin serving his three-game suspension for plunking Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez following the bench-clearing brawl last week.

Slaten originally appealed his suspension, but the track record for pitchers successfully reducing a suspension for intentionally hitting a batter -- which Slaten clearly did -- is nonexistent. The $1,000 fine that came with the suspension could have been reduced, but the team pays that, anyway, and the difference would be a drop in bucket for even a player making the minimum.

Really, the appeal was made so the Nationals could delay Slaten's missed games and decide when they wanted him to sit. With the off day yesterday, they were able to ensure they had a fresh bullpen. Then again, the bullpen is overstocked as it is, and Slaten has pitched once since the brawl -- meaning he'll have pitched only once in 11 days minimum by the next time he pitches. So I'm not sure how much sense it made to wait, but anyway, the Nationals did and Slaten can't pitch for the next three games.

The Marlins tonight will start Alex Sanabia, who was suspended five games for his active role in the brawl despite not playing in that night's game. He'll drop his appeal after tonight and start serving his five-game suspension. Chris Volstad, the pitcher who helped touch off the brawl by drilling Morgan and then throwing behind him, will start Sunday's series finale and then begin serving a six-game suspension Monday.

By Adam Kilgore  |  September 10, 2010; 3:40 PM ET
 
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Next: Danny Espinosa takes the leadoff spot as Nationals put brawl in the past

Comments

By delaying the ruling, MLB HQ may have paved the way for some more street justice.

Posted by: Ted_Striker | September 10, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm leaving for the game soon. Hope it is a fish fry!

Posted by: NatsFly | September 10, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm leaving for the game soon. Hope it is a fish fry!

Posted by: NatsFly | September 10, 2010 4:14 PM

Nice cool evening for baseball. Enjoy!

Anyone visited the new Yards park yet?

http://www.jdland.com/dc/quickgallery.cfm?quickdate=100907

Posted by: Kev29 | September 10, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Great night for a ball game, let's hope the hockey game does not break out and ruin it.

Posted by: dfh21 | September 10, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey, just a rehearsal for the Winter Classic.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | September 10, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Can someone clarify this for me? "...Meaning he'll have pitched only once in 11 days minimum by the next time he pitches." Does that mean that the players' union requires pitchers (or any player?) on the 25-man roster to be used at least once in every 11 games?

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | September 10, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Soren -- I think that Ak was just saying that since Slaten has only pitched once since the fight he'll not have pitched more than once in 11 days when he gets back. I think.

Posted by: dfh21 | September 10, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Kilgore - what's the deal with Nyjer - how many lives does he get? Let the League hand down the suspension - whatever it is, let him serve it and end this saga.

Posted by: comish4lif | September 10, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

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