Three Different MiLB Pitchers Ejected For Foreign Substances This Weekend
It’s been an open secret around baseball that pitchers can use sticky substances to improve the spin rate of their pitches. Higher spin rates can lead to nastier pitches.
At the major league level, Giovanny Gallegos was forced to change caps on May 26 but was allowed to stay in the game after umpire Ed West determined that Gallegos had a foreign substance on his hat. As of yet, no MLB pitcher has been ejected or suspended this year for using a foreign substance.
At the minor league level, the penalties have been more severe.
This past weekend there were three minor league pitchers ejected after umpires found foreign substances on their person. On Saturday (May 29), Eugene Emeralds pitcher Kai-Wei Teng was ejected in the third inning of Eugene’s game and umpires confiscated his glove.
Across the country on the same day, Winston-Salem Dash pitcher Sal Biasi was ejected as well after umpires examined his glove.
On Sunday (May 30), Down East pitcher Mason Englert was ejected after an umpire determined he had a foreign substance on his belt.
The three ejections in two days comes after Kannapolis’ Marcus Evey was ejected on May 13 when umpires examined and then confiscated his glove. He was eventually suspended for 10 games.
Major League Baseball's Rule 6.02 (c) (7) states that pitchers shall not" Have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance." Further clarification of the rule states that: "The pitcher may not attach anything to either hand, any finger or either wrist (e.g., Band-Aid, tape, Super Glue, bracelet, etc.). The umpire shall determine if such attachment is indeed a foreign substance for the purpose of Rule 6.02(c)(7), but in no case may the pitcher be allowed to pitch with such attachment to his hand, finger or wrist."
The crackdown around the minors has been isolated and sporadic, but already it's been more significant than anything yet done at the major league level.