By Skip Charles in Vegas

San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano is facing a lifetime ban for betting on baseball after Major League Baseball received information that he wagered on games involving the Pittsburgh Pirates when he was with the team last season, ESPN says.

Marcano, 24, has yet to be formally penalized, but MLB Rule 21 explicitly states that a player who bets on games involving his own team is subject to a lifetime ban. Marcano tore an ACL last year and was on the injured list when he allegedly placed the bets, which were flagged by a sportsbook and reported to the league, according to sources.

The potential ban of Marcano comes in the wake of the NBA handing down a lifetime penalty to Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter for disclosing confidential information to bettors, limiting his participation in at least one game and betting on NBA games while playing in the G League.

Four other minor league players are facing potential discipline for gambling as well, sources told ESPN. Even if a player in the minor leagues is on a team’s 40-man roster, he would face a one-year suspension for gambling on major league games, according to Rule 21.

As pervasive as gambling in sports has become, it is particularly sensitive in baseball, a sport whose hit king, Pete Rose, remains banned for gambling, and whose championship series was thrown in 1919 by the Chicago White Sox.

Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, has indicated he plans to plead guilty to federal felony charges after admitting he had stolen money from Ohtani to pay off gambling debts.

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