NEW YORK -- Mets reliever Hansel Robles plans to appeal his three-game suspension for throwing near the head of Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp earlier this week, making Robles potentially available throughout this weekend's series against the Nationals.
Major League Baseball suspended Robles three games for a quick pitch that nearly hit Rupp in the head, which would have been the fourth hit batsman in Wednesday's 7-5 loss to the Phillies. MLB called the pitch intentional in its ruling, noting that both benches had been warned.
The drama began when Phillies reliever Justin De Fratus hit Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes on the left hand with a fastball, knocking him out of the game. Two innings later, Adam Loewen hit another Mets batter in the back, before Mets starter Logan Verrett plunked Odubel Herrera in a similar spot, prompting home-plate umpire Bob Davidson to warn both benches.
Robles' pitch to Rupp did not occur until an inning after that. Mets manager Terry Collins indicated that because Verrett had already hit a Phillies batter, he did not consider Robles' pitch any sort of retaliation.
"Do I think he threw at him? Absolutely not," Collins said. "First of all, there was absolutely no reason to. It's two completely different situations. Now if there was a reason we needed to retaliate for something, I get it. [But] we did that. It was already done. I didn't think anything else should have been necessary and so I don't blame him [for appealing]. That's what he's saying: 'Look, it got away from me. Period.' So I'm not surprised he's appealing."
Even if any part of Robles' suspension is upheld, he will still be fully eligible for the postseason. Robles, who owns a 3.57 ERA as a rookie and is a good bet to land on New York's postseason roster, can serve any remainder of his suspension at the start of next season.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.