In recent weeks there has been a lot of talk going around about the use of illegal substances by pitchers across the MLB. This is not news to people who have been keeping up with the sport for the past few years, but it has come back into the spotlight after recent interviews with players, most notably Josh Donaldson. With that being said, you might be wondering what exactly are foreign substances and how do they impact the game?
What is Spider Tack?
Spider Tack is the name of the most widely used foreign substance by pitchers. The MLB has begun to crack down on the use of Spider Tack in the hopes of creating an equal playing field. It is estimated that approximately 70-80% of pitchers use it. The whole purpose of illegal substances, such as Spider Tack, is to increase the RPM on pitches. Simply, it creates more spin on the baseball which makes it more difficult to hit. However, Spider Tack does not increase velocity on pitches.
Gerrit Cole vs Josh Donaldson
Gerrit Cole’s name has been in MLB headlines all week long. Recently, Josh Donaldson accused pitchers of using Spider Tack and he called out Cole by name. As fate would have it, Cole’s first start after the accusation was against Donaldson’s Twins. Cole’s stat line?
6IP 5H 2ER 0BB 9K
Pretty good if you ask me. How did Donaldson fare against Cole?
Cole did have issues with command in his start and his two earned runs came on two solo home runs. But overall, he was his usual self and rebounded from a tough outing against the Rays. His season ERA currently sits at 2.31.
It doesn’t matter if he uses Spider Tack or not. Gerrit Cole is still the best pitcher in the AL and one of the best in the entire MLB.