Yankees' Gerrit Cole Frustrated over MLB Substance Regulation: Please Work with Us

Adam WellsJune 17, 2021

New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole throws against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 9, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
AP Photo/Jim Mone

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is the latest pitcher to express frustration with Major League Baseball's decision to take a hardline stance on all foreign substances being used during games to grip the baseball. 

Speaking to reporters after a 3-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, Cole urged MLB to "please just work with us" to find a solution:

"It's so hard to grip the ball. For Pete's sake, it's part of the reason why almost every player on the field has had something, regardless if they're a pitcher or not, to help them control the ball.

"We are aligned in a lot of areas with the commissioner's office on this." 

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow told reporters on Tuesday that he had to change the grip on his fastball and curveball because he stopped using sunscreen in anticipation of the rule change. 

"I switched my fastball grip and my curveball grip," Glasnow said. "I had to put my fastball deeper into my hand and grip it way harder. Instead of holding my curveball at the tip of my fingers, I had to dig it deeper into my hand. I'm choking the s--t out of all my pitches."

Glasnow said the change contributed to him suffering a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament and flexor strain.

Cole and Glasnow both said MLB should have made the change during the offseason to give players a chance to adjust, instead of implementing the rule in the middle of the season. 

MLB announced that it will implement enhanced enforcement of rules that prohibit players from applying foreign substances to the baseball. 

Starting pitchers will be subject to more than one mandatory check by umpires during games. Relievers will be checked either at the end of an inning or when he gets removed from the game, depending on which comes first. 

Catchers will also be subject to checks, as well as position players if they are observed making moves to their uniform or body that are consistent with applying some substance to the balls. 

Umpires have the discretion to check players at any point if they notice a ball has "an unusually sticky feel to it," or if they notice pitchers going to any part of their body or uniform to potentially apply a substance to the baseball. 

Anyone who is found to be in violation of the rules will receive an automatic 10-game suspension. 

Cole tied his season-low with four strikeouts in his start against the Blue Jays, but he only allowed two earned runs and four hits over eight innings.