After a week of notice, MLB’s enforcement of a pair of rules regarding the use illegal foreign substances to alter baseballs is now in effect.
The penalty if caught: Ejection and a 10-game suspension, during which time teams are not allowed to replace that vacant roster spot.
The gist of it: Umpires will now regularly and routinely check pitchers for any substances on their person — be it their hat, glove, fingertips, belt buckle, etc — during a game. Should someone be caught with any of this goop, which could range from something as simple as soil or sunscreen to a super-sticky paste of rosin mixed with other substances known as Spider Tack, he will be ejected from the game and suspended for 10 games. His team will not be allowed to replace his roster spot while he serves the suspension, which can put managers in a bind.
In a memo the league sent out to clubs, umpires will check starting pitchers multiple times a game, and relief pitchers will be checked either at the end of the inning in which he entered the game or when he is removed from the game, whichever comes first.
The only substance pitchers are allowed to use are team-supplied rosin bags that have to be submitted to umpires for review pregame, similar to the process with game balls being used.
How will the rule enforcement impact Miami Marlins pitchers? Manager Don Mattingly and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. are adamant not much will change from their pitching staff.
Miami Herald Marlins beat writer Jordan McPherson discusses this in the latest episode of Fish Bytes. Other topics on this week’s show include:
▪ A look back at the last road trip, including an interesting trend with Adam Duvall that has impacted the team as a whole this season.
▪ A quick preview of the Marlins’ remaining schedule before the All-Star Break, a division-heavy run before the team has to make a decision on how it wants to approach the looming trade deadline.
▪ Updates from the minor leagues, highlighting Edward Cabrera’s first Double A start and Jerar Encarnacion getting extended looks at first base.