Major League Baseball has suspended Royals pitcher Brad Keller five games for hitting White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson in Wednesday’s game, according to ESPN reporter Jeff Passan. Keller has the right to appeal, but if the suspension holds he will likely miss one start. The Royals will not be allowed to replace him on the roster during the suspension. White Sox manager Rick Renteria was suspended one game, according to Ken Rosenthal.
Update: Here is the official release from MLB. Anderson was suspended for his “conduct after the benches cleared.”
The official release. Wording from MLB is very specific about Tim Anderson’s suspension, saying “for his conduct after the benches cleared.”— Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) April 19, 2019
Still ... pic.twitter.com/7dOc1DkjWp
During the benches-clearing incident, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson called Royals pitcher Brad Keller a "weak-ass f---ing n-word," sources tell ESPN. Anderson, who was hit by a Keller pitch one at-bat after he hit a home run and flipped his bat, was suspended for one game.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 19, 2019
The whole incident began in the fourth inning, when Anderson hit a home run off Keller and celebrated by tossing his bat and screaming. When Anderson came up in the sixth, Keller hit him with the first pitch, causing both benches to clear. Keller and Anderson were ejected, as was Royals bench coach Dale Sveum and White Sox manager Rick Renteria.
Keller is a first-time offender, so his suspension is shorter than the nine-game suspension Yordano Ventura received in 2016 for hitting Manny Machado. The Royals won’t have another off-day until April 25, but they could try to appeal until they hit a part of their schedule where they can afford to go to a four-man rotation, then drop the appeal to allow Keller to serve his suspension.