Ronel Blanco's suspension raises more questions about his story and Astros' future

MLB did not waste any time in deciding in how to punish Ronel Blanco.
Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros / Jack Gorman/GettyImages

The Houston Astros' troubles continued on Tuesday when Ronel Blanco was ejected for supposedly having a banned foreign substance on his glove. Both Blanco and manager Joe Espada were adamant that the substance was nothing but rosin mixed with sweat, but umpires confiscated his glove and gave him the boot.

The only question after that was whether or not Blanco would face a suspension for violating MLB's new-ish policy that polices the use of sticky substances while pitching. Blanco vowed in the immediate wake of the accusation to appeal any suspension, if it came to that, so as of Wednesday, the ball was in the league's court to make a determination.

It did not take MLB long to come to the conclusion that Blanco did indeed violate the policy and that Blanco's sticky glove -- called the worst umpire Erich Bacchus had seen -- warranted a 10-game suspension.

Astros News: Ronel Blanco suspended for 10 games starting Wednesday

Clearly the league saw something they didn't like when they were investigating Blanco, as the turnaround from the initial ejection to the punishment was very fast. Blanco's suspension starts with Wednesday's game and would essentially mean that he has to sit out two starts, but the start date would've been paused if he chose to appeal.

Blanco ultimately decided not to appeal, and that provides some clarity.

Given that Blanco is not appealing his punishment, this is a devastating development for the Astros. Houston was already having to jump through hoops to field a healthy and capable pitching staff to mixed success, and Blanco has been one of the few highlights on the mound. Through eight starts in 2024, Blanco has posted a 2.09 ERA and was Houston's most consistent starter by a wide margin.

Not only will the Astros likely lose him for a couple starts, but it also torpedoes their plan of going with a six-man rotation to weather a long stretch without off days coming up. Suddenly, the Astros only have five guys who can realistically start right now.

At this point, Astros fans just have to sit and hope that the team can survive while Blanco is out, and that one day, things start turning Houston's way again. Somehow, some way, thanks to the Rangers' recent losing ways, the Astros are just three games in the loss column behind their familiar foes.

More Astros News from Climbing Tal's Hill