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MLB expected to crack down on pitchers’ foreign substances this week, according to reports

MLB is reportedly set to come down on pitchers who knowingly use any sort of substances on a baseball to try and improve their grip.Tom Szczerbowski/G

Major League Baseball will announce Tuesday that players who are caught using foreign substances will be subject to a 10-day suspension with pay, according to a report from ESPN.

The move, an attempt to try and curtail the use of grip enhancers, will be announced via a memo. It will include Spider Tack, a substance that has been at the center of the recent flap used to generate more spin, as well as sunscreen-and-rosin combinations favored by other pitchers.

Pitching numbers improved across the league this season, and subsequently, some critics pointed to the increased use of grip enhancers. That led to many hurlers coming under fire, including Yankees’ pitcher Gerrit Cole. Earlier this month, Cole offered a non-answer when asked about his use of Spider Tack.


Other pitchers, like Boston’s Martín Pérez, have offered more vehement denials. After Sunday’s 18-4 loss, a game where he was battered by the Blue Jays for six runs on five hits, including three of Toronto’s eight home runs, and left after 1⅔ innings, Pérez denied using any substance to enhance his grip, spin rate, or movement the his ball during any part of his career.

“I’m not a cheating pitcher, man,” Pérez said. “I’ve been around for a long time and I don’t use that kind of stuff. I just go out there and compete with what I have that day. I don’t put anything on my arm. I don’t put anything on my glove. You know, whoever does, that’s their problem.”

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said recently he expected a decisive move from MLB.

“MLB does a pretty good job with stuff like this. When they’re all the way in — and I lived it — they’re going to come hard,” Cora said. “It’s going to be black and white. There’s not going to be gray areas in this. We’ll have to wait and see.”