Milwaukee Brewers reliever Will Smith has been suspended eight games for being found with a foreign substance on his forearm in Thursday’s evening’s Brewers/Braves contest, according to MLB Communications and multiple other reports. Smith has elected to appeal this ruling, meaning that he will be eligible to play until the appeal process is completed.
On in relief of starter Matt Garza in the seventh inning of a one-run game, Smith faced just one batter before Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez requested assistance from an umpire. The glistening substance on Smith’s arm was in plain sight to the Braves dugout, and it was just a matter of moments until umpire Jim Joyce ejected Smith on the spot, causing an outburst of emotion and some chirping between players and coaches.
Smith claims that the substance was a mixture of rosin and suncreen that he applied to his arm during warm-ups and forgot to remove before entering the game. While he later acknowledged his mistake, Smith and the Brewers are holding firm to their stance that the mixture’s sole purpose was to improve the pitcher’s grip of the baseball, even though, interestingly enough, Smith plunked Pedro Ciriaco, the only batter he faced before his ejection.
“It was chilly and kind of windy,” said Smith. “I had rosin and suncreen on my arm. I just forgot to wipe it off before I went out and pitched. I had to kind of get ready in a hurry. I just forgot. That’s it.” The Brewers went on to lose 10-1.