Twins' Tyler Duffey Suspended 3 Games for Throwing Behind White Sox's Yermin Mercedes

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 20, 2021

Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli takes the ball from relief pitcher Tyler Duffey (21) in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit, Saturday, May 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Tyler Duffey has been suspended for three games after throwing behind the legs of Chicago White Sox designated hitter Yermin Mercedes, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.


Twins Pitcher Tyler Duffey has been tossed from the game after he threw a pitch behind Yermin Mercedes. <br><br>(via @NBCSWhiteSox) pic.twitter.com/vuA7ogfjpy

Duffey is appealing the suspension, while manager Rocco Baldelli will serve a one-game suspension Thursday night against the Los Angeles Angels. 

Baldelli argued with umpire Jim Reynolds after Duffey was ejected on Tuesday, resulting in his suspension. 

White Sox manager Tony La Russa, who fed the fire against Mercedes after he hit a home run on a 3-0 count against the Twins on Monday, said he didn't view the pitch as malicious. 

"The guy threw a sinker," La Russa said (h/t Wilton Jackson of Sports Illustrated). "It didn’t look good. So I wasn’t that suspicious. I’m suspicious if somebody throws at somebody’s head. I don’t have a problem with how the Twins handled that." 

La Russa's failure to stick up for his player yet again echoes what he told reporters after Monday's home run: 

Scott Merkin @scottmerkin

La Russa said he gave the take sign to Mercedes on the 3-0 pitch. He made a mistake. There's a consequence he'll have to endure within the family, per La Russa. "He's not going to do that again," La Russa said. He said it's more about sportsmanship and respect.

Vinnie Duber @VinnieDuber

La Russa on Mercedes and his 3-0 home run: "The fact that he is a rookie that was excited helps explain why he just was clueless. But now he's got a clue."

Mercedes didn't back down in the face of criticism from his manager. 

"I'm going to play like that," Mercedes said. "I can't be another person. Everything was good. Some of the teammates talked to me—just be relaxed. Just do you. We are good."

Duffey has appeared in 16 games for the AL Central's last-place team (14-27), amassing a 4.40 ERA while striking out 13 and walking 10 in 14.1 innings.