MLB reduces HInske’s suspension

The "Free Hinske" movement got its desired result.

Major League Baseball reduced Eric Hinske’s suspension from five games to one on Tuesday.

Hinske, the Diamondbacks’ backup first baseman, will serve his suspension Tuesday night.

Hinske was not ejected during the Diamondbacks-Dodgers brawl on June 13. On initial viewings of the video, he appeared to be a victim, getting struck with an overhead right hand from the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig.

The June 14 news release from MLB said Hinske was suspended for “leaving the dugout and his aggressive actions during the incidents.”

Hinske immediately said he would appeal.

“Unreal, I can’t believe it,” he told me in a text message after learning of his suspension.

Dodgers left-hander J.P. Howell told the Los Angeles Times that Hinske’s suspension surprised him, saying, “He was actually being cool.”

According to a source, however, Hinske hit Puig first.

The video, when slowed down, shows Puig’s head snapping back at least two or three times, as if he was hit by a punch, the source said.

Puig was ejected for being an “instigator” in the brawl, the umpires said. But he did not make contact with Hinske, Puig’s punch getting blocked by another Dodger after his arm started forward, the source said.

When I told Hinske that a source said he hit Puig first, Hinske replied, “Watch the video.”