Actually, starting pitchers are typically not suspended the same as position players. Starting pitchers, in recent years, have been suspended based on the number of pitchers in their rotation, which these days is typically five.
Thus, if MLB decides that a starting pitcher should be suspended for an amount of time that equals one game for a position player, then that pitcher is typically suspended for five days.
For example, on May 7, 2012, Cole Hamels hit Bryce Harper with a pitch and, after the game, Hamels admitted that he hit Harper on purpose.
MLB doesn't want to encourage such behavior, of course, so the next day, Hamels was suspended for five days, which, in this case, actually covers six games.
The point here is that MLB is preventing Hamels from making his next start.
Furthermore, Philadelphia is stuck playing a man short for the five days of Hamels' suspension, though that's not as dire as it seems since Hamels would rarely be used in games where he isn't the starting pitcher. However, in the game that he would have started, the Phillies will be starting a pitcher that may normally work out of the bullpen.