Jose Ureña drops appeal for six-game suspension, conveniently missing season's final Marlins-Braves series

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Ureña received a six-game suspension for drilling Atlanta Braves phenom Ronald Acuña Jr. last week, and now the appeals process has conveniently allowed the pitcher to avoid facing the Braves again this season.

Ureña will drop his appeal of his six-game suspension and will begin serving his punishment during the Marlins’ game against the New York Yankees on Tuesday, according to the Miami Herald’s Andre Fernandez.

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What led to Jose Ureña’s suspension?

Ureña received the suspension from MLB after opening his start against the Braves last Wednesday with a 97.5-mph fastball that hit Acuña in the elbow, triggering a brawl between both teams. Acuña had to leave the game after the inning, but X-rays and a CT scan revealed no significant damage and the Rookie of the Year was back in the lineup the next day.

The hit-by-pitch came as Acuña was attempting to extend a three-game streak of leadoff home runs and a five-game home run streak, leading to widespread condemnation of Ureña for seemingly targetting Acuna just because Acuna is very good at baseball.

Multiple active and former MLB players publicly blasted Ureña, but he had at least one defender in Mets commentator Keith Hernandez.

Why Is Jose Ureña dropping his appeal now?

While Ureña finally accepting his suspension would be considered a win for MLB’s enforcement team,  both his decision appeal and the timing of the enforcement might line up just a little too well for the pitcher to be true. Why? The Marlins just happen to be playing Acuña’s Braves in their next series.

By appealing the suspension, Ureña was able to make another start on Sunday, throwing a complete game against the Nationals, then drop the appeal after the game, manipulating when he would serve his already light punishment.

Jose Ureña will not face the Braves until at least April 2019. (AP Photos)
Jose Ureña will not face the Braves until at least April 2019. (AP Photos)

Now that Ureña has accepted his punishment, he will miss the Marlins’ next two games against the Yankees, then the entirety of a four-game series against the Braves. Even more convenient is that is the final series the Marlins are scheduled to play against the Braves this season.

That is all obviously good news for Ureña’s physical well-being, as the entire baseball world seems to be expecting a the pitcher to get drilled the next time he faces the Braves in the batter’s box.

The Marlins are well aware of what the Braves want to do

Ureña probably didn’t think of when he should drop his appeal by himself, and the Marlins very much knew that they wanted to avoid Ureña facing the Braves again. Before the pitcher dropped his appeal, Marlins manager Don Mattingly had already said the team would give Ureña’s rotation spot to rookie reliever Elieser Hernandez.

Ureña and the Marlins might have just delayed the day he’ll have to face the Braves in the batter’s box, but for now, it looks like any retaliation will have to wait until next season.

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