Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Chase Utley will likely be available to play in Game 3 of the NLDS against the New York Mets Monday because the appeal of his two-game suspension for taking out Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada is unlikely to be heard beforehand, according to numerous reports.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports the hearing will not be held before Tuesday, meaning Utley would be allowed to play in both Game 3 and Game 4.
MLB announced Sunday that Utley would be suspended two games for his collision with Tejada in Game 2 of the series. Utley is appealing, and has the right to continue playing until the appeal process is concluded. The players’ union has the right to prepare a defense for Utley by researching similar incidents and the discipline they warranted, which will likely extend the hearing process.
Utley charged at Tejada while trying to break up a double play in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game, sending Tejada tumbling to the ground. Tejada’s right fibula was broken in the collision, and he will be out for the remainder of the postseason. Prospect Matt Reynolds was added to the playoff roster to replace Tejada.
Reaction to Utley’s play from current and former MLB players was varied, with some commending Utley for his tough play and others criticizing him for being excessively violent.
Utley reportedly passed a concussion test after hitting his head on Tejada’s knee, and Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said Sunday that he could be in the starting lineup for Monday’s Game 3.
- Dan Gartland