All eyes are on Major League Baseball right now as the league aims to crack down on any use of foreign substances by pitchers. Throughout the game’s history, there have always been isolated individuals who dare cross that line. Word has it, from whistleblowers around the league, that the ill practice has picked up in recent years.
Just how bad is the problem? It must be serious enough for MLB to be upping the ante.
Recently the league has reached out to all 30 owners to inform them that they plan to increase their enforcement of stopping the use of foreign substances. While the league has withheld how they will do so, they did mention that anyone caught with any sticky substance would be subject to a 10-day suspension.
While that may have some big effects on the performances of pitchers across the league who may be using such substances, Dave Roberts believes that the Dodgers will only benefit from the league’s crackdown.
“I think that, certainly, Major League Baseball is trying to clean some things up. I’m just not as educated in how much of an enhancement it is. I really am not. So I think that, at first look, it probably will affect performance. But it’s across the board. And I believe that with the guys that we have on our pitching staff and the position players’ side, we will be big-time beneficiaries.”
The team is getting healthier and the offense has been showing signs of life more and more every day. With the decrease in the performance of pitchers that the league is expecting, just imagine how well the team can perform offensively.
As for the other side of the ball, the Dodgers have been the best this year in terms of spin rate, which the league has used as an indicator of foreign substance use in many cases. However, there have been no reports of foul play by Los Angeles and the main cause of their performance this year has been their addition of pitchers with histories of prior high spin rates. Trevor Bauer has been the biggest advocate of the practice and it shouldn’t be a surprise that he indeed leads the league in fastball spin rate.
It’ll be interesting to see how the whole substance witch hunt ends and if it does lead to a better cleaner game of baseball.