Major League Baseball announced Monday that it had suspended Mets closer Edwin Diaz for 10 games for violating the foreign substance policy.

That was a formality after Diaz’s ejection Sunday night. Crew chief Vic Carapazza deemed Diaz’s right hand too sticky during a routine start-of-the-inning substance check, so he kicked him out of the game against the Cubs. MLB’s standard is to punish first-time offenders with a 10-game suspension.

The Mets will have to play shorthanded because they are not allowed to call up another player to replace Diaz on the roster. Unless he appeals — a process that has never yielded a reduced or eliminated suspension in these cases — Diaz will be eligible to return July 6.

“We’ve been through a lot this year,” manager Carlos Mendoza said Sunday night. “We’ll find a way to get through it. We’ll continue to piece it together.”

The Mets’ ninth-inning candidates include Reed Garrett, Drew Smith and Jake Diekman. Adam Ottavino has done it in the past but has been moved to a lower-leverage role in recent weeks.

Smith’s status is at least somewhat uncertain after he encountered what he described as “trouble getting loose” when he replaced Diaz in the ninth inning. Mendoza pulled him in favor of Diekman after three batters (12 pitches).

“Hopefully it’s nothing serious,” Mendoza said. “We’ll see what we got.”

On Sunday, Diaz said he had rosin, sweat and dirt — which are allowed, as long as they aren’t too sticky, a subjective variable — on his hand. Carapazza disagreed about the specific substances, and the umpire’s word is the only one that matters in terms of MLB handing down a suspension.

“It definitely wasn’t rosin and sweat,” he told a pool reporter. “Without a question, [Diaz’s hand] was way too sticky. It didn’t take me very long.”


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