Pitchers will be expelled and receive 10-game suspensions if they use illegal substances to handle balls., as part of a tightening of Major League Baseball rules beginning June 21.
The commissioner’s office, in response to a record increase in strikeouts and worst offensive records in more than half a century, announced Tuesday that umpires in both the majors and the minor leagues begin to monitor all pitchers frequently, even if the rival manager does not request an inspection.
Those who commit repeated infractions will receive staggered fines, and teams and their employees may be penalized in case of not abiding by the regulation.
“After a period of repeated void warnings, gather information from active and retired players across the sport, two months of exhaustive investigation, I have determined that new controls are needed on the use of foreign substances to have fair competition, “said Commissioner Rob Manfred.
“I understand that there is a history of using foreign substances to handle the ball, but what we are seeing today is very different, using substances with a higher adherence than what was used more frequently previously, “added Manfred.” It has become clear that the use of foreign substances went from wanting to have a better grip on the ball to something else – an unfair competitive advantage that is causing have less action and uneven competition. “
MLB informed teams that from March 23, monitoring will be redoubled and that it has taken measures that include reviewing the balls used by each club and analyzing the data on the movement of the pitches.
Recent MLB investigation, according to its release, detected balls with darker markings and that were stickier being touched. MLB’s measures have not been slow to have an apparent impact.
According to data from Statcast, the MLB statistical service, pitchers’ straights averaged between 2,306 and 2,329 revolutions per minute each week from the start of the season through June 5. After a meeting of the club owners on June 3, when it was announced that they were going to have a strong hand against substance use, andhe average fell to 2,282 during the week of June 6 and to 2,226 on the last Sunday.