The MLB crackdown on pitchers using foreign substances is coming. Like it or not, the league has decided to take it seriously and deal with pitchers who continue to break the rules. And now, we’re starting to get a more clear picture of what that might look like.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal came out with more details of MLB’s impending crackdown. The initial reported procedures set to be put in place by the league would consist of required checks every game by security agents. These officials are already used to monitor the video replay rooms after the Houston Astros cheating scandal broke.
More details seem to suggest that instead it would be strictly held to umpires, as players could use substances after their checks. MLB will require starting pitchers to be checked at least twice a game and relievers will be checked at least once.
MLB will also require that checks are done as pitchers come off of the mound between innings. It will also happen when pitchers come out of the game to be relieved. Umpires have the right to check whenever if they suspect a pitcher is using something and can check any part of their uniform.
Pitchers found with substances will be ejected and their equipment or uniform will be given to the on-site MLB authenticator. These would presumably go back to the league in support of the ensuing suspension. Umpires are also allowed o check position players.
According to Rosenthal, there are still no firm plans for MLB to implement these procedures. But he does note that they would like to give pitchers and teams enough time to adjust and figure it out within their organizations.
Change is coming.