Report: MLB Finalizing Memo on Enforcement for Pitchers' Use of Foreign Substances

Adam WellsJune 12, 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2020, file photo, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred answers questions at a press conference during baseball owners meetings in Orlando, Fla. Manfred tells The Associated Press that the commissioner's office, teams and the players' association "owe it to our fans to be better than we've been the last three months." (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
AP Photo/John Raoux, File

Major League Baseball teams are expecting to receive a memo from the league very soon about the rules against pitchers using foreign substances on the mound. 

Per ESPN's Buster Olney, MLB is "putting the final touches" on the memo that could "be forwarded to teams sometime in the next few days and presented to coaching staffs and players."

Olney reported last week that MLB was in the process of "swiftly" advancing a plan that would instruct umpires to "repeatedly and randomly" check all pitchers multiple times per game for potential illegal substances being used. 

Even though there have been official rules in place banning the use of foreign substances, Olney noted it has been "mostly ignored" over the years. 

According to Olney, MLB is likely looking at close to June 21 to start implementing the changes. 

The enforcement of the rule comes amid an alarming decrease in offensive numbers across the sport so far this season. The league has a collective batting average of .237, which would be tied with 1968 for the worst in MLB history. 

Teams are also averaging 8.98 strikeouts per game, which is on pace to break the previous record set in 2019 (8.81). 

MLB lowered the pitching mound from 15 inches to 10 inches after the 1968 season in an attempt to increase scoring.