Arizona Diamondbacks Pitcher Caleb Smith Is Second MLB Player to Be Ejected for Use of Illegal Sticky Substances

He joins Seattle Mariners reliever Héctor Santiago, who ended up serving a 10-game suspension

Caleb Smith reacts after having his glove confiscated. The Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher became the second MLB player ejected for sticky substances on August 18, 2021.
Caleb Smith reacts after having his glove confiscated.
Norm Hall/Getty

At the end of June, Seattle Mariners reliever Héctor Santiago became the first MLB pitcher to be ejected from a game as part of the league’s crackdown on the use of foreign substances on the mound when it was determined there was something questionable inside his glove.

Now, more than halfway through August, he finally has company.

On Wednesday night, Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Caleb Smith became the second player to be ejected for the use of illegal foreign substances during his team’s 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Tossed in the eighth inning for what umpires found on his glove, Smith now faces a 10-game suspension. In an interesting twist, it turns out the umpiring crew that ejected and suspended Santiago was the same one that ejected Smith.

“I’m not stupid,” Smith said. “I know the two main things they check is your glove and your hat. If I was using something, and I wasn’t, I wouldn’t put it on my glove or my hat. That’s just ignorant. If they say they find something on it, that’s bullshit because there’s nothing on it. If I was cheating, I’d own up to it.”

We will see what happens with Smith but, for what it’s worth, Santiago ended up serving a 10-game suspension for using sticky substances. Then, last month, he was suspended for 80 games by MLB following a positive test for external testosterone.

“In 2020, while I was not on the roster of a MLB club, I consulted a licensed physician in Puerto Rico who diagnosed me with a condition and recommended hormonal replacement therapy,” Santiago said in a statement issued through the Major League Baseball Players Association. “Because I did not play in 2020, I did not consider that this therapy could ultimately lead to a positive test under MLB’s joint drug program. That said, I alone am responsible for what I put in my body, and I was not careful. Therefore, I have decided for forgo my right to an appeal in this matter and accept the suspension. I apologize for any harm this has caused the Seattle Mariners, Mariners’ fans, my teammates, and most importantly, my family.”

Smith’s glove will be shipped to the commissioner’s office in New York for inspection before his suspension is confirmed.

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