For a few years now, spin rate has been the talk of MLB and is particularly interesting for pitchers.
Spin rate is associated with ball movement: the higher spin rate a fastball has, the more ‘rising’ effect it has (although it doesn’t really rise, but delays the effects of gravity).
For breaking pitchers, more spin rate equals sharper break.
Pitchers often use substances such as rosin, pine tar, sunscreen, Spider Tack, and others to have better grip, and it results in a higher spin rate.
MLB, however, decided that the use of foreign substances gave the pitchers an unfair advantage over hitters and recently banned them.
MLB sends out memo about the enforcement of the ban on foreign substances:
– Umpires will check pitchers throughout the game
– Immediate ejection if a player is found with foreign substances
– 10-game suspension for players that violate the rules pic.twitter.com/wGX2ew4bfw
— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) June 15, 2021
Most MLB pitchers, naturally, are upset, for a variety of reasons.
Here are two of them.
It Was Done Effective Immediately And Not In The Offseason
One of the main problems of the enforcement of the ban to use foreign substances on the ball is that it was done abruptly and without much discussion.
In fact, players are also angry because they weren’t consulted about the measure.
“I hope we can apply some feel to the situation. The players on the union calls, we all have quite a strong consensus on where we believe this should go. I would encourage the commissioner’s office to continue to talk to us, please, because we’re the ones who throw the ball, they don’t. We’re the experts in this situation and we’re aligned in terms of intent with the commissioner’s office as well.”
“Whether you want us to not use sticky stuff or not is fine. Do it in the offseason. Give us a chance to adjust to it. But I just threw 80-something innings, then you’ve just told me I can’t use anything in the middle of the year. I have to change everything I’ve been doing the entire season…I truly believe that’s why I got hurt.
Glasnow: “Do it in the offseason. Give us a chance to adjust to it. But I just threw 80 innings, then you tell me I can't use anything in the middle of the year. I have to change everything I’ve been doing the entire season. I'm telling you I truly believe that’s why I got hurt.”
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) June 15, 2021
It Increases Injury Risk
Glasnow believes that the change in the rules contributed ‘100 percent’ to his injury, because it forces him to change his grip.
With the use of the aforementioned substances on the ball, pitchers have better grip and don’t have to apply so much strength in each pitch.
In fact, pitchers like Glasnow say that’s the reason they rub substances on the ball: to have a better grip, not necessarily to increase spin rate or gain any type of competitive advantage.
That’s what he said:
“I don’t use Spider Tack, I don’t need more spin, I have huge hands and I spin the ball fine. I want more grip”.
Not having the ability to put anything on the ball creates an increased injury risk for pitchers.
He said, after pitching with the new grip, that he woke up very sore the next day and knew something was off.