Seven Peoria Players, One Coach Suspended

Julio Castillo (PHOTO/CHICAGO CUBS)

PEORIA, IL- Eight days after the unfortunate bench-clearing brawl between the Peoria Chiefs and Dayton Dragons in Ohio, Midwest League President George Spelius has handed down his punishments to both teams. Seven Chiefs players and interim manager Carmelo Martinez have been suspended for a combined 98 games with a total of $4,600 in fines.

Starting pitcher Julio Castillo, who is no longer even on the Chiefs active roster, leads the way with a 60-game suspension that extends into next year. He was also fined $1,000 as his court proceedings continue Friday in Ohio's Montgomery County. Castillo was arrested and charged with felonious assault after a fan was hit with a thrown baseball during the brawl.

Outfielders Brandon Guyer and Cliff Andersen, infielder Jovan Rosa, pitchers Steve Vento and Audy Santana and catcher Mario Mercedes were each fined $150 and suspended for three games. The suspensions will start Friday night against South Bend and will be staggered over the next week.

Martinez, the Cubs Latin American Field Coordinator, was fined $1,500 and suspended for 20 games. He was filling in as Chiefs manager for the three-game series while Ryne Sandberg was in Cooperstown, N.Y. for the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. In addition to the individual punishments, the remaining Chiefs players were fined a lump sum of $1,200 for leaving their positions in violation of the On-Field Behavior.

Dayton had eight players suspended three games each for their roles in the incident, and each were also fined. In addition, manager Donnie Scott was suspended three games and fined while the rest of the players were fined for leaving the dugout.

The suspensions are the first for any Chiefs player, due to an on-field incident, since a May 2002 fight in Davenport, Iowa against the Quad Cities River Bandits. That brawl resulted in six Chiefs suspended and fined a total of $3900. Current Major Leaguers Chris Duncan, Yadier Molina and Joe Mauer were involved in that altercation at John O'Donnell Stadium.

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