Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos received a two-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for "aggressive actions and for instigating a benches-clearing incident" during the fourth inning Saturday.
The suspension was scheduled to begin Monday, but Castellanos is appealing the suspension. He is eligible to play until the appeal process is completed.
In addition to Castellanos – he was the only player ejected – five other players received undisclosed fines: Eugenio Suárez, Jesse Winker, St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado, Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
Michael Hill, Major League Baseball’s senior VP for on-field operations, made the announcement.
Castellanos was hit by a 92-mph fastball from Jake Woodford in the ribs with two outs and nobody on base in the fourth inning. He briefly stared at the mound before asking Molina if it was an accident. Molina responded, "of course," which Castellanos said he accepted. Castellanos then held up the baseball and asked Woodford if he wanted it back, which some Cardinals players saw as a disrespectful gesture.
Two batters later, Castellanos scored on a wild pitch as Woodford fell onto his back trying to apply the tag. Castellanos stood up, flexed and shouted, "Let's (expletive) go!" Molina attempted to grab the back of Castellanos' shoulders/neck, which prompted the benches to clear.
No punches appeared to be thrown, but there was some pushing and shoving around home plate. There was some additional pushing in the outfield when pitchers were walking back to the bullpen.
“I mean, look, I wore 93 (mph) in the ribs," Castellanos said. "That don’t exactly feel good, you know? I asked Yadi if it was an accident. He said, ‘of course, it’s an accident. All right, Yadi is dude. Yadi is a boss. All right, I give him the benefit of the doubt. All right, it’s an accident.
"I take my stuff off. I even asked the pitcher if he wanted the ball back. Sometimes pitchers, he’s coasting, I don’t know. I go to first and the only thing I’m thinking about is scoring.”
Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said before Sunday's game that he didn't anticipate anything more than fines for his players.
The league's health and safety protocols during COVID-19 say that players who come within six feet of each other "for the purpose of argument or engage in altercations on the field are subject to immediate ejection and discipline, including fines and suspensions"
"My expectation is there is nothing game-related," Shildt said Sunday morning. "They'll have their opinion. We'll have ours. My understanding is I don't think this will be anything related to games, nor should it. If it's monetary based on protocol being broke, we'll do our part to be responsible for whatever that looks like."
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati Reds' Nick Castellanos appealing 2-game suspension