Mets' Edwin Diaz Denies Using Foreign Substance After Ejection During Win Over Cubs

The relief pitcher is facing a 10-game suspension.
Jun 11, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz watches from the dugout during the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz watches from the dugout during the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz acknowledged that his ejection from Sunday's 5-2 win over the Chicago Cubs stemmed from the umpiring crew's suspicion that he had an illegal substance on his hand. But the Mets closer denied using any foreign substance after the game.

Diaz told reporters that the substance on his hand was a mixture of rosin, dirt and sweat.

"I use the same thing always," Diaz said. "I rub rosin, sweat, and I put my hand in the dirt a little bit, because I need to have some grip on the ball. So that's what I was explaining to them, but they said it was too much stick."

Diaz was ejected from the game before even throwing a pitch after the umpiring crew inspected his glove and hand. After the game, crew chief Vic Carapazza told a pool reporter that the substance on Diaz's hand was illegal.

“It definitely wasn’t rosin and sweat," Carapazza said via ESPN's Jesse Rogers. "We’ve checked 1000's of these. I know what that feeling is. This was very sticky.”

MLB first implemented a ban on foreign substances in June of 2021 to combat pitchers using grip enhancers to elevate spin rates. League rules state that all substances except for rosin are prohibited, though even excess use of rosin is viewed as illegal by MLB.

MLB has ejected eight pitchers since 2021, when the league first began instructing umpires to carry out sticky substance checks. Diaz is the third Mets pitcher to be ejected during that span. The Mets reliever told reporters he was "really surprised" by the ejection, adding that he plans to "keep using the same thing because they didn't find anything on my glove, my hat, my belt."

Diaz is facing a 10-game suspension, and, per league rules, the Mets cannot replace his spot on the roster during the duration of said suspension.

The Puerto Rico native has put up a 4.70 ERA with 33 strikeouts and seven saves in 23 innings this season.


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Tim Capurso

TIM CAPURSO

Tim Capurso is a staff writer on the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated. Prior to joining SI in November 2023, he wrote for RotoBaller and ClutchPoints, where he was the lead editor for MLB, college football and NFL coverage. A lifelong Yankees and Giants fan, Capurso grew up just outside New York City and now lives near Philadelphia. When he's not writing, he enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with his family, including his three-legged cat Willow, who, unfortunately, is an Eagles fan.