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MLB Notebook: Yankees and Juan Soto could discuss contract extension during the season

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Photo credit:© Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Holden
29 days ago

Ronel Blanco suspended for 10 games

Ronel Blanco, the pitcher who threw the first and only no-hitter of the 2024 season, has been suspended for ten games after being ejected for a sticky substance on his glove on Tuesday. 
Blanco was ejected when he was going out to warm up for the top of the fourth inning. Crew Chief Laz Diaz and the rest of his Umpire crew convened on the mound around Blanco feeling around the palm of his glove and inside as well before tossing Blanco out of the game. 
At the time, Blanco was throwing another solid outing, not allowing a run on four hits while striking out four in 3.0 innings. The outing becomes the shortest of the season for Blanco, going at least 5.2 in each of his eight appearances thus far. 
As pointed out on the Astros broadcast, Blanco and his glove were checked out by the Umpires numerous times throughout the game. The broadcast crew questioned why the sticky substance was there now after Blanco had already pitched three solid innings, supposedly without it. 
Blanco tried to plead his case to the Umpires and told the media afterwards that he did not break any rules and only used the provided rosin bag.
Just probably rosin I put on my left arm. Maybe it’s cause of the sweat it got into the glove,” said Blanco through his interpreter. 
When I’m feeling that I’m sweating too much I’ll put it on. I think it’s something normal that most pitchers do.”
But it isn’t the rosin that is the issue. It’s where he applied it. Pitchers are not allowed to apply rosin to their non-throwing hands, which, in the eyes of the umpires, is what Blanco had done. 
First-base Umpire, Erich Bacchus was the one to feel the glove and was shocked by what he found.
It was the stickiest stuff I’ve felt on a glove since we’ve been doing this for a few years now.
But could this cause a problem in the future with rosin and glove checks? Astros General Manager, Dana Brown, acknowledged that Blanco is a notoriously profuse sweater. 
We are at the mercy of what his judgement is. From our perspective, this is a guy who sweats a ton, and when you combine the sweat and the rosin, we felt like maybe that’s what they felt is sticky.”
Blanco will not appeal the suspension, but he did consider it. However, the Astros are currently running with a six-man rotation and Blanco would likely only miss one start. 
Blanco will be eligible to return in a series against the team he was ejected against, the Oakland Athletics. 

Yankees and Juan Soto could discuss an extension during the season

When the New York Yankees acquired Juan Soto, he entered without another year on his deal and set to head to free agency at the end of the season. However, his start to his career in pinstripes has been beyond impressive. So impressive, in fact, that Yankees owner, Hal Steinbrenner, says he would be interested in signing an extension with Soto in the middle of the season. 
Soto has exploded into the Bronx Bombers lineup swinging an extraordinary .302 average with nine bombs and 34 RBIs. Soto has helped the Yankees gain and regain the top spot in the AL East this season, including this week, when the Yanks swept the Minnesota Twins while scoring 14 runs in three games. It also helps the pitchers only allowed one run in 27 innings. But Soto has been the perfect addition to the Yankees lineup.
Now, reports are swirling after Steinbrenner said “I think we’d like to see him here for the rest of his career.” 
Steinbrenner, one of the sons of the legendary George Steinbrenner, has been in control of the Yankees’ day-to-day operations since 2008. In that time, he has become well known as an ‘anti-in-season-contract-extension’ type, with players such as Robinson Cano and Aaron Judge making it to free agency. 
Soto is one of the best players in the game and he’s still only 25, so it makes sense why the Yankees would be more interested in a long-term deal with him at this stage. The former World Series Champ is a four-time Silver Slugger and three-time All-Star, and has finished in the top 10 of MVP votes thrice in his seven-year career. And Soto isn’t exactly cold on the idea, either. 
My door’s been always open. Whenever he wants to start talking with Scott [Boras].
Before being traded to the San Diego Padres in 2022, Soto turned down a 15-year $440 million deal with the Washington Nationals. Judging by the Ohtani deal and Soto’s declined a deal north of $400 million, Juan Soto could be in for a massive payday by the end of 2024.

Quick Notes:

  • Paul Skenes dominates again in his second career MLB start. Skenes threw six innings of no-hit baseball, striking out 11 of the 18 batters he faced, and walked only one. The young flamethrower reached 99 mph on his 99th pitch of the game, followed up with a 100 mph fastball, striking out Mike Tauchman to wrap up the outing.

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