In Major League Baseball, any player can play any position. This seems to be the main reason a Pitcher is suspended with the same standard suspension as a position player. This despite a pitcher's suspension not being as likely to affect the team as perhaps a position player's suspension would.

Has Major League Baseball ever prevented a player from playing a specific position via suspension?


As far as I am aware, there is no provision in the CBA or official rules that allows for a player to be banned from playing a specific position. It's either they are suspended, or they aren't.

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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.

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  • Though, I do agree that the suspension does hurt the team as they are then one player short in regards to their roster, I do not agree that this actually affects Philadelphia in any other way. In most cases, Hamels would be pushed back a day and still not be forced to miss his scheduled start. However, with a scheduled off-day on Thursday for the Phillies, their staff would have been pushed back a day anyway, thus negating any effect the suspension would have had on Hamels. – E1Suave May 12 '12 at 4:22
  • Without appeal, he will simply go on about his business as if nothing ever occurred. Also in the this particular case a returning ace in Cliff Lee was already scheduled to return from the DL. So at least in this case it does not seem that Major League Baseball utilized the suspension in a way that would have actually equalled the effects of say even a 1 game suspension to a position player. (NOTE: I do not know if 1 day suspensions are even handed down to position players) – E1Suave May 12 '12 at 4:23
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    Thank you for your answer. Though the conversation on Cole Hamels is very interesting and could be looked at from many angles, I would still like to know if MLB has ever suspended a player from playing a specific position. :–) – E1Suave May 12 '12 at 4:26
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    As for the one day suspension for position players I should have stated that I would not dismiss that Major League Baseball likely has issued such a suspension, but it does not seem to be the stance MLB takes in regards to what seems to be its standard. – E1Suave May 12 '12 at 4:32

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