Houston Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco handed 10-game suspension over 'sticky substance' on glove

Houston Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco was issued a 10-game suspension Wednesday after a "sticky substance" was discovered on his glove.

Blanco, 30, was ejected from Tuesday night's game against the Oakland Athletics over violation of rules regarding foreign substances, according to a press release from the Michael Hill, Major League Baseball’s senior vice president of on-field operations. The pitcher was also issued an undisclosed fine.

During the game Blanco attempted to tell the umpires that he was using rosin, a permitted substance inside a cloth bag that fans often see beside the pitcher's mound or in a pitcher's pocket.

Though it is permitted for players to use on their bare hands, rosin is forbidden from touching their gloves or baseball.

Astros general manager Dana Brown said Blanco was using rosin because he "sweats profusely," according to The tree sap is allowed to be used for sweat because it helps to combat slipperiness during the game.

"I think it was a combination of the rosin and the sweat, and it’s the umpire’s call," Brown said. "He made the judgment that he thought it was a sticky substance, so we’re at the mercy of what his judgment is."

It appeared during the game that the umpires examined the glove to try to determine whether the rosin was an accidental transfer while talking to Blanco and the Astros staff. According to the game commentators, it was determined that the substance on the glove was "too thick" and he was forced to leave the game, as per the MLB rules.

The glove was taken off the field for further assessment.

Blanco had the opportunity to appeal the decision but decided to take the ruling without a fight, according to Brown.

“Ronel Blanco is a good human being, he’s a good dude, and he’s worked his butt off to get into the starting rotation,” Brown said. “I think he sees it as, ‘Look, I don’t want to extend this any longer. I want to get back to the business of pitching.’”

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