Suspension of Astros’ Abreu upheld and pushed to next year. Reliever available for Game 7

October 23, 2023   -HOUSTON (AP) — Astros reliever Bryan Abreu was eligible to pitch in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series against the Texas Rangers on Monday night after his two-game suspension for intentionally throwing at Adolis García was upheld in an appeals hearing and delayed until the start of next season.

Abreu was suspended Saturday by MLB senior vice president Michael Hill, a day after the incident. The reliever appealed, allowing him to pitch in Game 6, and the hearing was held Monday before John McHale Jr., a special assistant to baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.

Abreu has been one of Houston’s top relievers with a 2.45 ERA in eight appearances this postseason.

He was pleased with the resolution since it allows him to pitch this postseason despite the suspension not being reduced.

The players’ association declined to comment.

Abreu pitched the eighth inning Sunday night, but manager Dusty Baker didn’t leave him in longer because he wanted him to be available in case his suspension was overturned or delayed.

“That was kind of what I was hoping for when I didn’t use him in a down game two innings yesterday,” Baker said. “He told me he was prepared to throw as many as possible just in case he had to serve a suspension. So it’s a blessing to have him for today.”

In suspending Abreu, MLB said it “took into account the dangerous nature of the pitch and its potential impact on player safety.”

The right-hander’s pitch angered García and prompted a benches-clearing scuffle that led to a 12-minute delay. Abreu, García and Baker were ejected.

Houston won 5-4 on Jose Altuve’s three-run homer in the ninth.

Abreu said going through this situation has helped improved his ability to block out off-the-field distractions.

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