Jump to content
NBC Sports EDGE Forums

Pitcher substances/spin rate crackdown


Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Richard Kimble said:

Was thinking earlier what his role behind the scenes in all this is, you're probably right. Its mind-boggling that they aren't giving pitchers an MLB-approved substance to use. Poorly handled by MLB as always. Its going to be fun when someone has an actual panic attack and curls up into the fetal position on the mound with the bases loaded, no one outs 🙄

This. Legalize whatever concoction and let them use that. This is going to be a mess. Though I’m sure Manfred will be tuned into the ESPN talking head clown show to ensure he’s done the right thing 🙄

As for Glasnow, that take is completely absurd. Anyone routinely throwing 100 is a ticking time bomb.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, TribeFoo said:

This. Legalize whatever concoction and let them use that. This is going to be a mess. Though I’m sure Manfred will be tuned into the ESPN talking head clown show to ensure he’s done the right thing 🙄

As for Glasnow, that take is completely absurd. Anyone routinely throwing 100 is a ticking time bomb.

I think it’s worth monitoring pitcher injuries over the next week or two to either validate or invalidate Glasnow’s take here. If there’s no change in rate of injuries then I think we could say it was just coincidence. However, including Glasnow, there has now been 5 pitchers sent to the IL with arm injuries after getting injured pitching yesterday or today so there might actually be something to what he’s saying.

(and I agree 100% with your first paragraph)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Outside of this forum, in the game itself, this entire conversation has become a toxic witch hunt that will only get worse from here. MLB is determined to ruin the game. In this forum, let's admit we all ultimately only care about the pitchers we manage, or are interested in acquiring, and want them to continue performing well. Acknowledging that bias is only going to help move the conversation forward, rather than people echoing one another with recriminations and accusations. At this point, no one has a clue how to interpret this, and anyone who does is lying. If you own Glasnow, you're pretty PO'd, or if not, maybe you're nervous about your guy.

The combination of the rise of the 3 true outcomes, the era of the dominant pitcher and the effort by MLB to deaden the baseball this season have led us here. Now the knee jerk reaction that MLB has adopted, which is loudly being decried by the pitchers, is leading to potential injury. I'm sure Glasnow will always believe he was overcompensating somehow; some have pointed to his injury history as a reason, and there is simply no way to know the truth. He was having a breakout season and it is terrible for the game to lose him under these circumstances. I do believe we are seeing pitcher injuries at unprecedented rates in large part because this is an unprecedented season. Everyone has essentially surpassed their innings total from last year already, and we're not halfway toward the end.

As far as the effect of the substances on their performances, its all speculation. The spin rates are only a part of a pitcher's performance, and to reduce it to just this is rendering every other tool for analysis useless. Our society is seriously predisposed towards conspiracies, so everyone loves the narrative and wants to vilify the pitchers for cheating.

I agree it needs to stop, but look at the language Glasnow used about going "cold turkey" which speaks to how addicted pitchers are to this by now. I'm sure there are tons of pitchers freaking out, because it this is such a big part of their routine, its a major adjustment midseason. They should be mentally tough enough to do it, but its a pretty horrible situation to put them in regardless. Also, imagine the scorn that will be thrown at the first guy to get suspended, and the moment that happens MLB has won. This is an issue that is far too nuanced and at the core of the competition to just litigate it midstream, through the eye of public opinion, and any real input from the players. This is going to get much worse, and I just hope cooler heads can prevail and they let the players have some say.

Edited by Richard Kimble
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really think this is being blown out of proportion by the league. And look, I get the argument that "it's in the rule book so they are cheating", or essentially @Overlordis saying throughout this thread... however I don't think it's as simple as that. Players like Glasnow and some of these younger players/rookies came into this league or have even been brought up this way (using the sticky) through the system as just the way it is. Don't think they really knew any better. If sunscreen/rosin really has been a mixture in the past that helps with grip and really doesn't affect spin rate.. what is wrong with that? Players have been doing it for decades apparently. It seems like most pitchers have tried something. It's been embedded into the culture of the sport for crying out loud. Clubhouse managers (at least one) were concocting and distributing sticky stuff. Even Adam Wainwright, who seems like one of the more class-act guys in the league admitted to using the sticky to ensure a better grip. Grip and spin rate enhancement are completely different in this regard. Sounds like it is Something that's been passed down from generation to generation at this point and the league is just now, in the middle of the season, deciding to do something about it. MIDSEASON? How can you implement a rule midseason. Imagine the commissioner of your fantasy league decided to implement a max transactions limit for the year midseason or changes a scoring category.. It's almost comparable to that. The league really does need to come out with approved sticky that pitchers can use that doesn't give them a significant spin rate increase/advantage. Instead Rob Manfred is insisting pitchers go cold turkey. I'm not calling BS either on Glasnow. It seems at the very least he was mentally affected by the new crackdown and thought that he had to changed his grip/mechanics etc. That is one consequence that could come from MLB's lackadaisical effort to subdue pitcher performance. The real issue in the mid season implementation like it was something they just discovered. Not new information to the league, just something they chose to turn a blind eye to until they randomly decided to turn a magnifying glass eye to. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Richard Kimble said:

Outside of this forum, in the game itself, this entire conversation has become a toxic witch hunt that will only get worse from here. MLB is determined to ruin the game. In this forum, let's admit we all ultimately only care about the pitchers we manage, or are interested in acquiring, and want them to continue performing well. Acknowledging that bias is only going to help move the conversation forward, rather than people echoing one another with recriminations and accusations. At this point, no one has a clue how to interpret this, and anyone who does is lying. If you own Glasnow, you're pretty PO'd, or if not, maybe you're nervous about your guy.

The combination of the rise of the 3 true outcomes, the era of the dominant pitcher and the effort by MLB to deaden the baseball this season have led us here. Now the knee jerk reaction that MLB has adopted, which is loudly being decried by the pitchers, is leading to potential injury. I'm sure Glasnow will always believe he was overcompensating somehow; some have pointed to his injury history as a reason, and there is simply no way to know the truth. He was having a breakout season and it is terrible for the game to lose him under these circumstances. I do believe we are seeing pitcher injuries at unprecedented rates in large part because this is an unprecedented season. Everyone has essentially surpassed their innings total from last year already, and we're not halfway toward the end.

As far as the effect of the substances on their performances, its all speculation. The spin rates are only a part of a pitcher's performance, and to reduce it to just this is rendering every other tool for analysis useless. Our society is seriously predisposed towards conspiracies, so everyone loves the narrative and wants to vilify the pitchers for cheating.

I agree it needs to stop, but look at the language Glasnow used about going "cold turkey" which speaks to how addicted pitchers are to this by now. I'm sure there are tons of pitchers freaking out, because it this is such a big part of their routine, its a major adjustment midseason. They should be mentally tough enough to do it, but its a pretty horrible situation to put them in regardless. Also, imagine the scorn that will be thrown at the first guy to get suspended, and the moment that happens MLB has won. This is an issue that is far too nuanced and at the core of the competition to just litigate it midstream, through the eye of public opinion, and any real input from the players. This is going to get much worse, and I just hope cooler heads can prevail and they let the players have some say.

Very well said. I am outraged for the pitchers as a whole. If as a batter, They took away my gloves/pinetar/shinguard etc. you better believe an adjustment will be needed. Mentally, physically you name it. You aren't playing comfortably when something routine gets taken away from you. Could be a plethora of different variable at play. So many different factors to look at. And you said it perfectly, Spin rate/spider tac isn't the end all be all of performance for pitchers. Just as it is not as clear cut to say "hey he used rosin/sunbum on the ball he's a cheater! Vilify him!!". It's Just not that straightforward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Csiebert5 said:

Players have been doing it for decades apparently. It seems like most pitchers have tried something. It's been embedded into the culture of the sport for crying out loud. Clubhouse managers (at least one) were concocting and distributing sticky stuff.

Glad someone else echoes my sentiments, and I'm all for stopping them when it gets so far. Once you're involving clubhouse guys in schemes to steal signs or doctor baseballs, you're actively cheating. Its a weird distinction to make, but as you said, the ones have been doing it forever just accepted it as normal and its just a subconscious part of their routine. None of us fully understand the difficulty of throwing a baseball 90+ mph and repeating this delivery, its a freak of nature thing to do, and I'm always in awe of it-so it makes sense they have to use some tricks to get by, and there has to be a middle ground to respect the necessary craft of pitching.

Its hard to attack these guys with such fervor when you realize its the system itself that has created this problem. I can get behind the argument players should have taken it upon themselves to police it before it got out of hand like this, but that's basically asking people to be snitches on their own teammates. That's a very (pun intended) sticky situation, as well.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Richard Kimble said:

As far as the effect of the substances on their performances, its all speculation. The spin rates are only a part of a pitcher's performance, and to reduce it to just this is rendering every other tool for analysis useless. Our society is seriously predisposed towards conspiracies, so everyone loves the narrative and wants to vilify the pitchers for cheating.

It's really not much of a conspiracy when the most prominent member of the conspiracy is loudly talking about how cheating works and how there's no other way to increase spin rate other than doctoring the ball.  At that point, it's really more of an open secret.  Pitchers think it helps them.  Batters think it helps the pitchers.  Spin rate alone doesn't make a bad pitcher a good pitcher, but many good pitchers became great pitchers when they increased their spin rate.  At this point, the burden of proof is on anyone who thinks that the substances aren't responsible for the dramatic increase in spin rate league-wide, or who thinks that spin rate doesn't help make the ball harder to hit.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Overlord said:

the inexplicable performance spikes amongst pitchers over the past 2-4 seasons to the point where you feel like you have to spend multiple premier draft picks in order to simply compete

Not sure I'm buying this. If nearly all pitching is much better than it was 2-4 seasons ago, than any single pitcher is relatively just as good as before, when compared to league average. Relatively speaking, nothing has changed. Why would you need to spend more high draft picks to compete? You could just as easily say that the opposite is true.

Edited by cs3
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, TribeFoo said:

This. Legalize whatever concoction and let them use that

Like I have said here many many times, manufacture MLB baseballs with the same specially treated "tacky" hide that the Japanese league uses.  This is the 21st freaking century and baseballs can (and are already in Japan) be produced with a good grip built in now.  So there will be no need for substances ever since the balls have that built in solid grip to them.   That way ANY foreign substance is then banned without having to send it out to a lab to determine what it is.  Problem solved.  Both pitchers and hitters are happy.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, shakestreet said:

If pitchers can’t use anything then batters must not have any pine tar or wear batting gloves. 

This. You’ll see a reduction in exit velocity and HRs. Batters can’t wildly swing without the fear of losing the bat. It’ll have to be more controlled. There is no even playing field right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, meh2 said:

I can’t wait to see what changes Manfred will institute next year when the net effect of this edict leads to more walks, higher pitch counts, more frequent pitching changes, and ultimately longer games. For the last few years all we hear about is pace of play and games taking too long. Imagine a cold, damp October Red Sox/Yankees game when pitchers can’t grip the ball and games last over 5 hours.

... But the data shows these spider tack substances led to more walks and less control ... 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, shakestreet said:

If pitchers can’t use anything then batters must not have any pine tar or wear batting gloves. 

Lol pitchers can still use legal rasin on the mound as they always have. Those is not a new role at all been in effect for a long time guys just got caught going too far cheating.

This is like saying if hitters can't use video espionage then pitchers and catchers can't send signals to each other 

Edited by StevieStats
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, StevieStats said:

... But the data shows these spider tack substances led to more walks and less control ... 

But it’s not just spider tack. Pitchers have been using sunscreen for years to get a better grip. I had teammates back in college over 20 years ago that were doing it. It’s obviously premature to say anything conclusive but I’ll be very surprised if games for the rest of the season are somehow shorter with these changes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, meh2 said:

But it’s not just spider tack. Pitchers have been using sunscreen for years to get a better grip. I had teammates back in college over 20 years ago that were doing it. It’s obviously premature to say anything conclusive but I’ll be very surprised if games for the rest of the season are somehow shorter with these changes.

Yeah and that’s been all the focus with Manfred’s dumbass ever since he took over. “Let’s shave a few seconds off each game that’ll make it more interesting 🤤”. Now it all goes down the drain. I don’t understand how these decisions get made sometimes, it’s almost like there is no consulting or communication between players, coaches, etc. I’m all for leveling the playing field but I just can’t fathom the mid season implementation of this crackdown. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Ricky Bobby said:

Lance McCullers literally replaced his curve ball with a change up last night vs the Rangers. There was speculation that it was due to the STac crackdown.

 

In his post game interview, he said it was a "finger issue in the bullpen" during pre-game warmups...whatever that might mean. I'd wait another game to see what's going on there. Think however Baseball Savant didn't show massive spin declines on his pitches overall though.

 

Edited by Bregatron
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good article out on The Ringer about early results of the ban today.  Here it is.  There's a couple of great graphs I tried unsuccesfully to link into the post, found right above and below this text in the article:

 

Quote

The six lowest-spin days of this season, as measured by both raw RPM and Bauer Units, have come since June 8. If you think that’s a complete coincidence, I have some soon-to-be-outlawed sticky stuff to sell you. In the seven days beginning on June 8, the average four-seam spin rate was 2267 RPM, down 51 points from 2318 this season prior to that point. There was no corresponding decrease in fastball speed, which actually rose by a tenth of a mile per hour. Over the same span, curveball spin rates fell 72 points, slider spin rates fell 57 points, and changeup spin rates fell 43 points. While those drops aren’t precipitous, they’re sufficient to erase the last few years of spin-rate rises, bringing the average spin rates over the past week roughly in line with 2018 levels. There’s no recent precedent for a leaguewide month-to-month four-seam spin-rate change this dramatic—and if the results so far this month hold up or accelerate in the next two weeks, the graph below will look a lot more extreme by the end of June.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Short of more Glasnow-type situations I wonder if there will be a rash of blister injuries cropping up now as guys work to grip the ball differently. 

Again for me this all goes back to Manfred being a moron. If you want to address an issue this deep and divisive, you do it over the course of an offseason and you involve all stakeholders. You take your time and you take steps that all sides can live with. The potential for unintended consequences by doing it has Manfred has done is enormous - from injuries to pace of play to labor relations. Rest assured this situation will do absolute wonders for attitudes going into new CBA negotiations. 🙄

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, meh2 said:

I can’t wait to see what changes Manfred will institute next year when the net effect of this edict leads to more walks, higher pitch counts, more frequent pitching changes, and ultimately longer games. For the last few years all we hear about is pace of play and games taking too long. Imagine a cold, damp October Red Sox/Yankees game when pitchers can’t grip the ball and games last over 5 hours.

How should Manfred of handled this? Over a year a year he sent a memo telling a clubs to get a handle on it and rein it in. Before the start if this season MLB came out a detailed what steps were being taken and when the crackdown would start. It shouldn't have been a surprise to players or fans

MLB at this time has to outlaw everything. If you were in charge would you (and I hate to use this word as it also pertains to the upcoming CBA later this year) trust the players to just use something that was prescribed? I wouldn't.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, The Big Bat Theory said:

Like I have said here many many times, manufacture MLB baseballs with the same specially treated "tacky" hide that the Japanese league uses.  This is the 21st freaking century and baseballs can (and are already in Japan) be produced with a good grip built in now.  So there will be no need for substances ever since the balls have that built in solid grip to them.   That way ANY foreign substance is then banned without having to send it out to a lab to determine what it is.  Problem solved.  Both pitchers and hitters are happy.

This seems like the absolute best approach.  Will likely require some manufacturing adjustments from their suppliers but making it so the balls are pre-treated and nothing else is permitted is the cleanest solution by far.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

50 minutes ago, Low and Away said:

How should Manfred of handled this? Over a year a year he sent a memo telling a clubs to get a handle on it and rein it in. Before the start if this season MLB came out a detailed what steps were being taken and when the crackdown would start. It shouldn't have been a surprise to players or fans

MLB at this time has to outlaw everything. If you were in charge would you (and I hate to use this word as it also pertains to the upcoming CBA later this year) trust the players to just use something that was prescribed? I wouldn't.

 

 

There is a lot of conflicting reports about what teams and players were told over the offseason. Whatever was told, It’s obvious that the communication was poor as teams and players have been caught off guard by this. If front offices were expecting this I’m sure they would’ve implemented programs to get their pitchers prepared for this.

My main objection is not that MLB has chosen to ban illegal substances but that they’ve implemented very significant changes that are going into effect in mid to late June, close to halfway through the season. They very easily could’ve waited until winter meetings to come up with a properly researched strategy to curb or eliminate use of these substances. This should be something that could’ve easily been agreed upon by the MLB player’s union and MLB, but obviously that working relationship is embarrassingly dysfunctional. Every pitcher should’ve known the new changes going into preseason so they were given enough time to get used to these changes. As others have mentioned specially treated baseballs would’ve been a good compromise and they could’ve used the rest of this year to test and develop.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Mikewastaken said:

Short of more Glasnow-type situations I wonder if there will be a rash of blister injuries cropping up now as guys work to grip the ball differently. 

Again for me this all goes back to Manfred being a moron. If you want to address an issue this deep and divisive, you do it over the course of an offseason and you involve all stakeholders. You take your time and you take steps that all sides can live with. The potential for unintended consequences by doing it has Manfred has done is enormous - from injuries to pace of play to labor relations. Rest assured this situation will do absolute wonders for attitudes going into new CBA negotiations. 🙄

I actually wonder if we will see fewer blisters - some of what I've read - about spider tack specifically is that it may have led to increased friction / blisters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, mudrummer said:

I actually wonder if we will see fewer blisters - some of what I've read - about spider tack specifically is that it may have led to increased friction / blisters.

Interesting hadn't seen that. We'll see, obviously,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...