Yasiel Puig began serving a three-game suspension Monday for his role in an ugly benches-clearing skirmish July 30 between the Reds and Pirates.
Puig, one of eight players suspended following that incident, dropped his appeal Monday. The Indians acquired the outfielder at the trade deadline, aware that he faced a suspension.
He'll be able to return to action Thursday against the Yankees in New York.
“I’m not sure what the terminology is,” Indians manager Terry Francona said Monday (via MLB.com ). “He’s accepting his three games, starting tonight. So, he’ll miss this series and then he’ll join us in New York [on Thursday].”
Adding to the surreal nature of that Pirates-Red incident, reports had surfaced minutes earlier that Puig was being traded. Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti quickly got news of the ongoing brawl and turned on the TV to watch. At one point during the altercation, Puig appeared ready to take on multiple Pirates before being restrained.
“We've almost come to expect surreal things any time we go to complete trades,” Antonetti said. “We've had, going back to Ubaldo Jimenez warming up with someone else in there at the time we were trading for him and watching him pitch 40-something pitches and then having him do a physical after that. We've almost come to expect it. We would have preferred for that brawl to not happen [that] night, but it's part of the deal, it happens.”
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Puig is off to a hot start with the Indians, slashing .357/.413/.571 with a home run and six RBIs in 11 games. He has 23 home runs and a .798 OPS this season.