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The Indiana Daily Student

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Indiana baseball alum Andrew Saalfrank banned one year from MLB for betting

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Indiana baseball alum and Arizona Diamondbacks left-handed pitcher Andrew Saalfrank has been banned from Major League Baseball for one year, the league announced Tuesday. Saalfrank is one of five players banned for wagering on MLB games, directly violating league rules.  

San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano was banned from MLB for life. He placed over 200 MLB-related bets, including 25 on Pittsburgh Pirates games while he was a member of the team. Because he bet on games involving his team, he was banned for life. Saalfrank, Oakland Athletics pitcher Michael Kelly, Padres minor leaguer Jay Groome and Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguer Jose Rodriguez were all handed one-year bans.  

Saalfrank and the three others broke Rule 21(d)(1) of MLB, which states, “Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has no duty to perform, shall be declared ineligible for one year.” 

According to MLB, Saalfrank wagered $445.87 on 29 bets between Sept. 9, 2021, and March 9, 2022, a period during which he was in the Diamondbacks’ Minor League system. Of Saalfrank’s 29 bets, 28 were related to MLB and one was a college baseball parlay.  

He did not bet on any games played by the team he was assigned to, but he did place four bets on the Diamondbacks’ Major League team while he was on the injured list of Arizona's Low-A affiliate. He incurred a net loss of $272.64 on his 28 MLB bets and a $1.80 loss on a college baseball bet. He only won five of 29 total bets. Per a league release, there is no evidence to suggest any outcomes in baseball games on which he placed bets were influenced in any way.   

Saalfrank played for Indiana from 2017-19 and was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and first-team All-Big Ten in 2019, posting an 8-1 record and a 2.84 ERA in 73 innings pitched. Indiana won the 2019 Big Ten regular-season title in current head coach Jeff Mercer’s first season. The Hoosiers made the NCAA Tournament and were eliminated by the University of Louisville in the Louisville Regional.  

Saalfrank was selected No. 182 overall in the sixth round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Diamondbacks and made his MLB debut in 2023, pitching 10.1 innings and allowing two unearned runs in the regular season. In 5.2 innings across 11 postseason games, Saalfrank held a 3.18 ERA and recorded four holds.  

He made three appearances in Arizona’s five-game World Series loss to the Texas Rangers, pitching 2.1 scoreless innings. Saalfrank was assigned to Triple-A Reno to begin the 2024 season and allowed four runs in one inning across two games with Arizona this year, making his most recent appearance versus the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 29. He will be eligible for reinstatement to MLB on June 4, 2025.

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