The rules of baseball are clear, except for when they're open to interpretation.
The pitcher shall not -
(4) apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball;
PENALTY: For violation of any part of Rules 8.02(a)(2) through (6)
(a) the pitcher shall be ejected immediately from the game and shall be suspended automatically. In National Association Leagues, the automatic suspension shall be for 10 games.
The worst part of Michael Pineda's shameless use of pine tar is that it gets him suspended. Joel Peralta got eight games for his indiscretion in 2012; Brendan Donnelly got 10 games in 2005. With Vidal Nuno already in the rotation for the injured Ivan Nova, Pineda's looming suspension couldn't have come at a worse time.
So, since we won't be seeing Michael Pineda for a week, who gets his turn in the rotation?
David Phelps didn't impress last night; three hits and three base on balls in only two innings of work doesn't inspire confidence. On top of his previous 9.2 innings of work (seven hits, four walks, three home runs), I'm more inclined to send him to Scranton than to the mound at Yankee Stadium.
My first choice would be Adam Warren, but after spending the spring acclimating to bullpen work, he's probably not really ready to throw five or six innings in a spot start, and with David Robertson back, the pen is finally at full strength. Manny Banuelos has only pitched 9 innings at single A, Jose Ramirez, Nik Turley and Jose Campos haven't pitched at all. Bryan Mitchell has made 4 mediocre starts at AA.
Bringing up another pitcher would require making a 40-man move; Nova is only on the 15 day DL, and moving him to the 60-day would free up a spot. Alfredo Aceves has the most MLB experience; Bruce Billings has pitched the best, but 25-year-old Chase Whitley probably has the most upside, while Graham Stoneburner still has the coolest name in the system.
So who do you want to see face the Mariners next week?