The world of baseball pitching began to be shaken up in late-May and early-June as MLB announced that it would be checking the hats, gloves and belts of pitching staff during games.
Rumours had begun to spread about the use of a substance called Spider Tack which was allowing pitchers to get a better grip on the ball and consequently increases spin speeds. Players like Josh Donaldson of Minnesota became very vocal in their criticisms of pitchers including, for example, the New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole.
Now, there have been allegations like that. There also been suggestions that spin speeds for certain pitchers have dropped since the announcement of the rule-enforcement may have caused some pitchers to relearn their craft but so far that’s all we know.
So as we examine these statistics for the month of May, let’s consider those pitchers whose performance seems to have varied most dramatically – but I’ll go no further – the jury is still out – and we may never really know.
Here’s the stats for the whole team and then we’ll begin with a closer analysis of the starting rotation: