The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates giant brawl from Tuesday has resulted in Keone Kela, the former Texas Rangers reliever, being suspended 10 games, it was announced today. Kela threw at Reds outfielder Derek Dietrich’s head because of the Pirates’ unhappiness over Dietrich admiring a home run back in May, and then after the game, essentially admitted it was on purpose.
Also suspended were Amir Garrett, who triggered the bench-clearing incident when he charged at the Pirates’ Trevor Williams, who was standing outside the dugout. In addition, Yasiel Puig (now a Cleveland Indian) got 3 games, Kyle Crick got 3 games, Jared Hughes got 3 games, and Jose Osuna received 5 games. Reds manager David Bell was suspended for 6 games, while Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was suspended for 2 games.
Its not been a great 2019 season for Kela, who has pitched in just 18 games this season. Kela was on the injured list for most of May, all of June, and most of July, and then served a two game team-imposed suspension for violation of the uniform player contract upon being activated from the injured list. He now faces another lengthy absence.
Kela has a 3.19 ERA and a 3.84 FIP in 31 IP over 34 games for the Pirates since being traded to Pittsburgh by the Rangers last year, but he’s missed a significant amount of time both last year (post-trade) and this year due to injuries, and is going to now be unavailable for a lengthy period of time due to the suspension.
Texas got Taylor Hearn and Sherten Apostel from the Pirates last year in exchange for Kela, and while there was some criticism at the time from certain quarters that the return was light, given Kela’s abilities, its reasonable to believe that his injury history and reputation for being difficult was a factor. Pittsburgh has had to deal with both of those problems since acquiring him, and with Kela slated to hit the free agent market after 2020, and with Pittsburgh currently in last place, the Pirates were rumored before the trade deadline to be willing to move him.