There’s something going on in Major League Baseball this year, and I’m not talking about the increase of fights happening in the stands.
We’re only two months into the season and it’s already being declared the “Year of the Pitcher”. Pitchers across the Majors are putting up insane statistics this season, and we’ve seen significantly fewer runs compared to previous years.
There have been whispers and accusations that pitchers have begun using illegal substances at an increased rate. These substances have theoretically allowed them to have a better grip on the ball, which allows them to add a higher spin rate on their throws. Higher spin rate equals more movement, more movement equals less hits.
If you want any proof that pitchers are having a great year, just take a look at the top pitchers’ stats on the American League and National League Cy Young award. For example, Jacob deGrom is currently sporting a 0.71 ERA, which hasn’t been seen through the month of May since 1964, according to ESPN.
The problem has gotten so out of hand, that owners across MLB met today to discuss the issue. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the issue has been described as “very prevalent” and a strong crackdown is now expected to commence.
Many players across the Majors, including Twins infielder Josh Donaldson, have been vocal about the problem and the inconsistent handling of it this season.
While I don’t expect any major crackdowns to start happening this season, you can be assured that this will be a highly debated topic during this year’s CBA negotiations between the MLB and MLBPA.