TORONTO -- Jose Bautista believes he has a strong case to appeal his one-game suspension from Major League Baseball, but he doesn't plan on revealing his line of defense.
Bautista was suspended by MLB on Tuesday for his actions in Sunday's fracas with the Rangers. Right-hander Jesse Chavez (three games), manager John Gibbons (three games) and bench coach Tim Leiper (one game) were also among the Blue Jays suspended. Kevin Pillar, Josh Donaldson and bench coach DeMarlo Hale were fined an undisclosed amount of money.
News of the suspension broke approximately two hours prior to Tuesday night's game against the Rays. Bautista and Chavez opted to appeal and as a result were allowed to play later that night. Bautista went on to hit a two-run homer, but it wasn't nearly enough in a 12-2 loss to Tampa Bay.
"I've never actually been a part of an appeals process," Bautista said after the game when asked for specifics of his case. "I don't know how it works. Maybe tomorrow I'll have more information, but right now I don't.
"When I was notified after batting practice that I got suspended and fined, I just placed a call and said I was going to appeal it. I think I have good enough reasons to. I'm not just appealing it for the sake of appealing it. We'll see what happens. Like I said, tomorrow I might have more information for you guys."
Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor received an eight-game suspension from MLB while shortstop Elvis Andrus was suspended for one game. Right-hander Matt Bush received a fine for "intentionally throwing at Bautista and causing warnings" and right-hander Sam Dyson was fined for his "aggressive actions." A.J. Griffin and Robinson Chirinos also were fined for "being on the field while on the DL."
Odor announced earlier in the day that he was appealing his suspension. Players are permitted to keep playing until the appeals process has been completed, and it was not immediately clear when the hearings would take place.
The suspensions date back to the benches-clearing incident from Sunday's game between these two teams, a 7-6 Rangers win. Bush drew the ire of the Blue Jays when he hit Bautista with a 96-mph fastball to lead off the eighth. Later in the inning, Bautista went hard into second base with a late slide. Odor took offence, and as the two players came together, Odor pushed Bautista with two hands and then punched him square on the jaw.
The physical altercation led to a chaotic scene as both teams came together in the middle of the field. Order was eventually restored, but Chavez hit Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder with the first pitch in the bottom half of the eighth, and the dugouts cleared once again.
"I hope we can just get back to playing baseball," said Pillar, who was fined for "aggressive actions" during the incident. "I don't think it's completely necessary that it has to go to that extent. Hopefully that's the end of it."
According to MLB's release, Chavez was suspended three games for "intentionally throwing at Prince Fielder ... while warnings were in place." Bautista received a one-game suspension for "his actions during the incident and for his postgame comments." Gibbons was punished because he "returned to the field after being ejected earlier in the game and incited further fighting."
Managers and coaches are not permitted to appeal their suspensions. That meant Gibbons and Leiper had to watch Tuesday night's game from the crowd as Hale temporarily took over the primary responsibilities in the dugout.
"I understand the rule ... but the manager, in my mind, that's your team out there," Gibbons said of returning to the field. "It makes sense to me that you should go out there and try to keep things under control. But that's not the rule, so you have to live with that."
Gregor Chisholm has covered
the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen
to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.