Dodgers infielder Chase Utley has been suspended two games after MLB determined his slide in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game was illegal.
Utley charged at Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada while trying to break up a double play, sending Tejada tumbling to the ground. Tejada broke his right fibula in the collision and will be out for the remainder of the postseason.
Utley will appeal the suspension, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports, in which case he would be allowed to play until the conclusion of the appeal process. MLB is trying to hear Utley’s appeal on Monday in order to settle the matter before Game 3 of the NLDS, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports.
“[A]fter thoroughly reviewing the play from all conceivable angles, I have concluded that Mr. Utley’s action warrants discipline,” MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre said in a statement. “While I sincerely believe that Mr. Utley had no intention of injuring Ruben Tejada, and was attempting to help his Club in a critical situation, I believe his slide was in violation of Official Baseball Rule 5.09 (a)(13), which is designed to protect fielders from precisely this type of rolling block that occurs away from the base.”
In a statement, the Mets supported MLB’s decision to suspend Utley.
Utley’s agent also released a statement about the suspension.
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