Astros starter Ronel Blanco ejected in the fourth inning


Houston Astros starter Ronel Blanco was ejected at the onset of the fourth inning during Tuesday night’s game against the Oakland Athletics after umpires discovered a foreign substance on his glove. First base umpire Erich Bacchus described the substance as “the stickiest stuff I’ve felt on a glove.”

Astros starter Ronel Blanco ejected in the fourth inning
Astros starter Ronel Blanco ejected in the fourth inning

Third base umpire Laz Diaz ejected Blanco following a check of his glove before he threw a pitch in the fourth inning. Blanco, along with Houston manager Joe Espada, engaged in a discussion with the umpires on the mound for several minutes before Blanco was removed from the game.

Blanco’s glove was confiscated by Bacchus, who left the field with it and later returned after taking it somewhere undisclosed. Diaz, the crew chief for the game, stated that the glove was being sent to the commissioner’s office for further examination.

According to Bacchus, he found nothing suspicious on Blanco’s glove during an earlier check in the first inning, but discovered the substance during a subsequent inspection before the fourth inning. Bacchus described the substance as extremely sticky, which prompted the ejection.

After the discovery, the umpires convened to ensure they all had the same assessment of the situation before ejecting Blanco. Diaz clarified that they were unsure of the nature of the substance and deferred further investigation to the league office.

Blanco denied using an illegal substance and suggested that the stickiness could have been due to rosin from his left arm transferring to the glove inadvertently due to sweat.

Manager Joe Espada noted seeing “white powder” inside Blanco’s glove, which he believed to be rosin. However, rosin use on the non-pitching hand is prohibited by MLB rules.

Blanco, who threw a no-hitter in his season debut, maintained his innocence and urged the umpires to check his hands if they suspected foul play. Despite his denial, Blanco’s ejection was confirmed, and he will likely face a 10-game suspension under MLB’s foreign substance crackdown initiated in June 2021.



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