Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba made international headlines this weekend when he struck an umpire during play in the Venezuelan Winter League on Friday.
This afternoon, according to ESPN.com, the Rangers catcher learned of his fate. League president Jose Grasso Vecchio has slapped Torrealba with a 66-game suspension for Torrealba’s slapping on the umpire. The suspension covers the remainder of this season and all of next year.
According to the ESPN report, Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels could not be reached for comment. It is unclear whether or not the Rangers would attempt to impose any sort of penalty on their catcher in addition to the VWL suspension. MLB and the MLB Players Association do not carry VWL penalties or suspensions into the MLB seasons. If the Rangers should try to impose any kind of penalty on Torrealba for his actions while playing in Venezuela, it would likely be met with staunch opposition from the MLBPA.
Torrealba saw significantly fewer at bats than initially expected in his first year in Texas, and with the emergence of Mike Napoli as the primary backstop, Torrealba’s playing time figures to decrease again in 2012. He is under contract though the 2012 season.