We knew Matt Barnes would get suspended by the league after throwing at Manny Machado and the pitch going behind the Orioles’ star’s head. It was only a matter of how many games he’d lose. According to multiple reports, the Red Sox right-hander has been given a four-game suspension.
Matt Barnes suspended four games for "intentionally throwing a pitch in the area of the head of Manny Machado."— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) April 24, 2017
As is generally the case in all of these situations, Barnes will appeal the suspension. As of this writing, it is unclear when that appeal will be heard, but it seems like he’ll at least be available for the start of the upcoming series against the Yankees.
It’s hard to be upset about this suspension, as this is simply the cost of doing business when you choose to go down the retaliation road. In fact, with the throw going behind the head — whether it was intentional or not — the Red Sox and Barnes are probably lucky he won’t be held out even longer. I was expecting something like six games.
Whenever he does miss these games — I would be utterly shocked if he won this appeal, even just knocking it down by a game, given the video evidence that can be held against him — the Red Sox will be down a player on their roster for four days. This is a bullpen that is already missing right-handed talent, and it could mean the end of the Fernando Abad era. He’s basically only being used in mop-up situations as it is, and this could be the perfect time to get Ben Taylor back on the roster.
That is all speculation, though. We’ll see what actually happens when the suspension actually takes effect. Right now, it appears only Barnes is getting suspended. There seemed to be a chance John Farrell could be punished as well, plus a smaller chance Eduardo Rodriguez could get something for throwing in Machado’s direction early in the game. That doesn’t seem to be the case. We’ll have more on this story as more information comes out.