Home Sports Mets closer Edwin Díaz ejected for sticky substance, faces 10-game ban as rough season continues

Mets closer Edwin Díaz ejected for sticky substance, faces 10-game ban as rough season continues

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New York Mets' Edwin Diaz looks on from the dugout during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Tuesday, June 11, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
Edwin Díaz clearly had something in his hand. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz was ejected before throwing a pitch Sunday after umpires determined he had an illegal sticky substance on his hand.

The embattled right-hander now faces an automatic 10-game suspension for violating MLB’s sticky substance ban. He has the right to appeal the discipline.

The Mets had brought in Diaz to protect a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth, but second base umpire Brian Walsh didn’t like what he saw during the routine handcheck when a reliever enters a game. After a tense argument with Díaz and Mets manager Carlos Mendoza, crew chief Vic Carapazza ejected the pitcher.

A close-up clearly showed some type of substance on Diaz’s hand.

After the match, Díaz insisted that he had done nothing wrong.

“I always wear the same thing,” said Díaz, via ESPN. “I rub rosin, I swear, and I put my hand in the dirt a little bit because I need to have a little bit of grip on the ball. So that’s what I was explaining to them. But they said it was too stick. I understood, but at the end of the “That day I was using rosin, sweating and putting my hand in the dirt.”

Carapazza, however, did not buy that argument.

“It was definitely not rosin or sweat,” Carapazza said after the game. via ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. “We’ve gone through thousands of these. I know what that feeling is. This was so sticky.”

Díaz’s ejection left Mendoza needing to call on reliever Drew Smith to cover the ninth inning. Smith got the first two outs before allowing a single to Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson. Mendoza then brought in Jake Diekman, who finished the game with a strikeout of Patrick Wisdom. The final was held 5-2.

It might have been Diaz’s first ejection of the season, but it’s not the first time things have gone wrong after he entered the game. The $102 million man has a 4.70 ERA this season, with four blown saves in 11 opportunities, and has been demoted from the closer role and placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury.

Since returning from the injured list, Diaz had recorded three consecutive scoreless appearances for the first time since April 4, but now faces another step back.

This is Diaz’s first season back after missing the entire 2023 season due to a torn patellar tendon suffered in the World Baseball Classic. He only has one more season left on his contract with the Mets after this season, at a salary of $21.5 million, but he has player options for 2025 and 2026 at $18.5 million each.

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