Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow blames elbow injury on MLB's crackdown on grip enhancers: 'I 100 percent believe that contributed to me getting hurt'

 Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow has been diagnosed with a partially torn elbow ligament, and according to him, it is the direct result of Major League Baseball's ongoing crackdown on grip enhancers.   

'I 100 percent believe that contributed to me getting hurt,' he asserted Tuesday.

A day after an early exit, Glasnow was diagnosed with a partially torn elbow ligament, throwing in doubt his future for the rest of this season and beyond.


Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow has been diagnosed with a partially torn elbow ligament, and according to him, it is the direct result of Major League Baseball's ongoing crackdown on grip enhancers. Glasnow attributed the injury to the inconsistent and often slick feel of baseballs, causing him to grip them tighter and deeper in his hand in his past few starts. He admitted to using a mix of sunscreen and rosin in the past to help, but said Major League Baseball's new crackdown on grip-enhancing substances used by pitchers was ill-timed. 'I have used sticky stuff before. Select your favorite pitcher of 50 years ago and he was probably using something, too. I have huge hands and I spin the ball fine. I want more grip,' he said

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow has been diagnosed with a partially torn elbow ligament, and according to him, it is the direct result of Major League Baseball's ongoing crackdown on grip enhancers. Glasnow attributed the injury to the inconsistent and often slick feel of baseballs, causing him to grip them tighter and deeper in his hand in his past few starts. He admitted to using a mix of sunscreen and rosin in the past to help, but said Major League Baseball's new crackdown on grip-enhancing substances used by pitchers was ill-timed. 'I have used sticky stuff before. Select your favorite pitcher of 50 years ago and he was probably using something, too. I have huge hands and I spin the ball fine. I want more grip,' he said

Tyler Glasnow explodes on MLB for causing an elbow injury
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'My lifelong dream, I want [to] win a Cy Young; I want to be an All-Star,' he said. 'Now it's over and I have to try and rehab to come back in the playoffs. I'm clearly frustrated.' 

An MRI showed Glasnow had a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and also a flexor strain. The test was done after the right-hander was forced to leave Monday night's game in Chicago against the White Sox after four innings.

Glasnow said he won't have surgery for now, and instead will try to strengthen the area. He plans to see another doctor on Friday.


Glasnow attributed the injury to the inconsistent and often slick feel of baseballs, causing him to grip them tighter and deeper in his hand in his past few starts. He admitted to using a mix of sunscreen and rosin in the past to help, but said Major League Baseball's new crackdown on grip-enhancing substances used by pitchers was ill-timed.

'I have used sticky stuff before. Select your favorite pitcher of 50 years ago and he was probably using something, too. I have huge hands and I spin the ball fine. I want more grip,' he said.

Glasnow said he went 'cold turkey' and used no grip-enhancing mix in a win over Washington on June 8. Because he held the ball differently, he said he 'woke up the next day and was sore in places I didn't even know I had muscles in.' 

An MRI showed Glasnow had a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and also a flexor strain. The test was done after the right-hander was forced to leave Monday night's game in Chicago against the White Sox after four innings

An MRI showed Glasnow had a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and also a flexor strain. The test was done after the right-hander was forced to leave Monday night's game in Chicago against the White Sox after four innings

'Just don't throw for a while, but they also said no surgery,' Glasnow said. 'So I'm just going to try and rehab it it an try to come back.'

'Hopefully I can help the team out in the playoffs or hopefully sooner,' he said.

If Glasnow chose to undergo Tommy John surgery, that would sideline him this season and could prevent him from pitching next year, too.

The Rays reached the World Series last year and own the best record in the majors this season.

Manager Kevin Cash confirmed there was no timeline for Glasnow's return and that the team would seek additional opinions.

'The initial thought was that it's better than having surgery, but I don't think anything has been totally defined yet,' Cash said.

In the meantime, Cash plans to insert veteran righty Michael Wacha in Tampa Bay's rotation.

The Rays put Glasnow on the 10-day injured list and recalled infielder Mike Brosseau from Triple-A Durham.

Glasnow is 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts, tied for the most in the majors. The 27-year-old has struck out 123 in 88 innings.

Though he is just 20-20 with a 4.04 ERA in six seasons, the 6-foot-8 Glasnow is considered one of baseball's top pitchers. His future looked bright until he was pulled from Monday night's game.

Glasnow said he sensed something wasn't right in the elbow as he tossed his final pitches in the fourth. He told the coaching staff and was replaced by Ryan Thompson to start the fifth.

'The last couple of pitches I felt just a little tug,' Glasnow said after the game. 'I didn't want to go out and chance it. The velo was still there, it just felt not right.'

Glasnow walked one and struck out six, throwing 40 of 53 pitches for strikes.

Home plate umpire Brian O'Nora #7 and Ron Kulpa examine the baseballs with Andrew Heaney #28 of the Los Angeles Angels against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 23

Home plate umpire Brian O'Nora #7 and Ron Kulpa examine the baseballs with Andrew Heaney #28 of the Los Angeles Angels against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 23

Pitchers doctoring baseballs with foreign substances in violation of MLB rules will get a 10-game suspension with pay when the commissioner's office begins its crackdown on grip enhancers next week, MLB announced Tuesday.  

The commissioner's office previously announced that pitchers are to be checked for foreign substances by umpires, who can conduct 10 random inspections per game.


'After an extensive process of repeated warnings without effect, gathering information from current and former players and others across the sport, two months of comprehensive data collection, listening to our fans and thoughtful deliberation, I have determined that new enforcement of foreign substances is needed to level the playing field,' baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. 

'I understand there's a history of foreign substances being used on the ball, but what we are seeing today is objectively far different, with much tackier substances being used more frequently than ever before. It has become clear that the use of foreign substance has generally morphed from trying to get a better grip on the ball into something else — an unfair competitive advantage that is creating a lack of action and an uneven playing field.'

The last pitchers suspended for using foreign substances were Baltimore's Brian Matusz and Milwaukee's Will Smith for eight games each in May 2015. Both appealed, and Smith's penalty was cut to six games while Matusz's ban was upheld. 

MLB's policy changes will effectively begin June 21. 

Teams have already received league reports naming pitchers who have been caught using foreign substances, two unidentified general managers told ESPN.

In anticipation of the crackdown, some teams have asked pitchers to work on throwing in the bullpen without the use of foreign substances, two players and an official told ESPN. 

Rules 3.01 and 6.02(c) of the Major League rulebook have long prohibited the use of foreign substances by pitchers, although the the practice of doctoring balls to improve grip, spin, and control is nothing new.

But after promising to crack down on foreign substances in recent years, MLB is taking action this season as pitchers are enjoying historic success: Six no-hitters have already been thrown this season — one off the league record — and through May 31, hitters were batting just .236, the lowest mark since 1968.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred's office is expected to release a memo on Tuesday, explaining the policy changes behind the league-wide crackdown on foreign substances in baseball

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred's office is expected to release a memo on Tuesday, explaining the policy changes behind the league-wide crackdown on foreign substances in baseball 

MLB's rulebook makes no distinction between the kinds of substances that will be prohibited, which ESPN reports could cause some consternation among pitchers.

For years, pitchers have improved their grip by inconspicuously mixing rosin and sunscreen lotion, but more recently, they've allegedly gained an advantage with the use of Spider Tack, a sticky concoction favored by weightlifters. (Pitchers are permitted to use a bag of dried rosin on the mound to help keep their hands dry)

A source described as a 'high-ranking person on the players' side' told ESPN that there is a 'broad consensus among players that Spider Tack is over the line,' but other foreign substances are seen differently.

Recently New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso told reporter he doesn't care if pitchers use foreign substances: 'I would rather them have control.'

In a statement, the players' union responded to ESPN's report about the impending 10-game suspensions for violators.

'The Players Association is aware that Major League Baseball plans to issue guidance shortly regarding the enforcement of existing rules governing foreign substances,' read the statement. 'We will communicate with Players accordingly once that guidance has been issued. We anticipate future discussions with the League regarding on-field issues, including the foreign substance rules and the baseballs themselves, as part of ongoing collective bargaining. Our continued focus will remain on fundamental fairness and player health and safety.'

ESPN is also reporting that several unidentified pitchers have said they will stop using Spider Tack and switch to pine tar, which hitters use to improve their grip on the handle of the bat.

MLB umpires have been increasingly vigilant in recent weeks. On May 26, veteran umpire Joe West forced St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Giovanny Gallegos to change hats.

In this April 10, 2014 file photo, New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda, with a substance on his throwing hand, delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in New York. Major league pitchers have been tinkering with the ball for years in search of an advantage, occasionally breaking major league rules in the process. But they might have to work a little harder on their deception this summer

In this April 10, 2014 file photo, New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda, with a substance on his throwing hand, delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in New York. Major league pitchers have been tinkering with the ball for years in search of an advantage, occasionally breaking major league rules in the process. But they might have to work a little harder on their deception this summer

On Monday, a former Los Angeles Angels clubhouse attendant accused a second New York Yankees pitcher of doctoring baseballs, naming two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber in report after previously implicating Gerrit Cole in a defamation lawsuit.

Brian 'Bubba' Harkins, who was fired in 2020 for providing sticky foreign substances to MLB pitchers, revealed to Sports Illustrated that Kluber was among a list of clients that included Cole.

In response to the allegation, Kluber's agent, BB Abbott, told Sports illustrated that Harkins is lying.

New York Mets hurler Noah Syndergaard pictured using a rosin bag, which is legal and helps remove moisture from a pitcher's hand

New York Mets hurler Noah Syndergaard pictured using a rosin bag, which is legal and helps remove moisture from a pitcher's hand  

'[Harkins] never personally gave anything of the sort to Corey Kluber nor has he ever used any substance prepared by Bubba [Harkins] in a MLB game,' Abbott told SI in defense of his client. 'If he is saying anything contrary to that, it is a blatant lie.'

Harkins, who served as the Angels' visiting clubhouse manager, sued the Angels and MLB for defamation in August of 2020 after becoming the only staffer to be fired amid the league-wide crackdown on doctored baseballs. He claims that Kluber became a regular customer of his when the All-Star was pitching for the Cleveland Indians after hearing about it from a teammate.

In his lawsuit, Harkins argued that the practice was widespread. He also shared an alleged text message from Cole in a January filing showing the All-Star requesting a concoction he claims he learned from former Angels reliever Troy Percival, who has since admitted to doctoring balls with a mixture of pine tar and rosin.

'Hey Bubba, it's Gerrit Cole, I was wondering if you could help me out with this sticky situation,' the pitcher wrote, according to Harkins's filing. 'We don't see you until May, but we have some road games in April that are in cold weather places. The stuff I had last year seizes up when it gets cold.'

Brian Harkins (right, alongside the Dodgers' Matt Kemp in 2011) was the Angels' visiting clubhouse manager before being fired in 2020 for helping pitchers doctor balls

Brian Harkins (right, alongside the Dodgers' Matt Kemp in 2011) was the Angels' visiting clubhouse manager before being fired in 2020 for helping pitchers doctor balls 

Harkins's lawsuit has since been tossed by a judge, who demanded that the former clubhouse attendant pay $35,000 in legal fees for the team and league.

Cole was pulled back into the controversy earlier this month when Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson made comments correlating a drop in Cole's spin rate with MLB's anticipated crackdown.

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole was accused of using Spider Tack to doctor pitches, but did not deny that claim outright

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole was accused of using Spider Tack to doctor pitches, but did not deny that claim outright 

Last week, Cole sidestepped questions about his suspected use of Spider Tack.

'I don't... I don't know,' Cole told reporters on a Zoom call in between several pauses. 'I don't quite know how to answer that, to be honest.'

The spin rate on Cole's four-seam fastball declined amid the recent crackdown, decreasing by 125 rotations per minute as he gave up five runs in five innings during a loss to Tampa Bay.

But rather than the sudden absence of Spider Tack, Cole blamed the diminished spin rate on his mechanics.

'I'm just not quite bringing out my best delivery,' Cole said. 'Of course it's something that we monitor. Of course there are other variables that we monitor as well when we're evaluating our performance from every game. You try to take as much information as you can as a player, and certainly that's one of them.

'We're trying to get better this week and put in the work, and I'll be as prepared as I possibly can for my next start.'

Cole had a better outing on Wednesday, allowing two runs to the Twins over six innings.

The crackdown is already underway in the minors, where four pitchers have been suspended this season for using banned foreign substances to doctor balls.

A former Los Angeles Angels clubhouse attendant has accused a second New York Yankees pitcher of doctoring baseballs in violation of Major League rules, naming two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber (pictured) in report on Monday after previously implicating Gerrit Cole in a defamation lawsuit

A former Los Angeles Angels clubhouse attendant has accused a second New York Yankees pitcher of doctoring baseballs in violation of Major League rules, naming two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber (pictured) in report on Monday after previously implicating Gerrit Cole in a defamation lawsuit

And that renewed emphasis on the rules may already be having a tangential effect in the Majors.  

Fastball spin rates averaged 2,306-2,329 revolutions per minute each week from the start of the season though June 5, according to MLB Statcast data.

Following an owners' meeting on June 3 when talk of a crackdown emerged, the average declined to 2,282 during the week of June 6 and dropped to 2,226 on Sunday.

The major league batting average was .232 through April, down from .252 two years ago and under the record low of .237 set in 1968, and it was .236 through May, its lowest since 1968.

The average rose to .247 in the week of June 6, lifting the season average to .238.

The strikeout percentage since June 3 is 23.4 percent, down from 24.2 percent until then, and the walk percentage is 8.4 percent, down from 8.9 percent.

The Tampa Bay Rays' Brendan McKay uses a pine tar rag during batting practice ahead of a 2019 playoff game. Pitchers are now being accused of using pine tar to doctor their pitches

The Tampa Bay Rays' Brendan McKay uses a pine tar rag during batting practice ahead of a 2019 playoff game. Pitchers are now being accused of using pine tar to doctor their pitches

'This is not about any individual player or club, or placing blame,' Manfred said. 'It is about a collective shift that has changed the game and needs to be addressed. We have a responsibility to our fans and the generational talent competing on the field to eliminate these substances and improve the game.'

While Bill Miller, president of the Major League Umpires Association, was quoted as being supportive in the announcement, there was no similar statement from the Major League Baseball Players Association. The players' union said it was reviewing the memo and did not have immediate comment.

Players suspended for violations will not be replaced on the active roster.

Rosin bags will continue to be allowed but rosin cannot be combined with sunscreen or other substances, and pitchers are being told not to use sunscreen after sunset in outdoor stadiums and not to use it at all in indoor ballparks. Umpires will inspect rosin bags before games to make sure they are standard.

Gerrit Cole recently sidestepped a question about using Spider Tack, a sticky concoction made for weightlifters. The substance is reportedly being used by pitchers to improve grip

Gerrit Cole recently sidestepped a question about using Spider Tack, a sticky concoction made for weightlifters. The substance is reportedly being used by pitchers to improve grip

As part of the initiative, umpires will check all starters multiple times and all relievers either at the end of his first inning or when removed, whichever occurs first. Caps, gloves and fingertips will be checked. Umps also may check when they notice sticky balls or when perceiving a pitcher going to his glove, cap, belt, uniform or body in a manner that may be to retrieve or apply a substance.

Catchers will be subject to routine inspections and position players may be searched.

Pitchers will be responsible for foreign substances found on catchers and position players. A position player will not be ejected for possession of a foreign substance unless the umpire determines the player was applying it to a ball to aid a pitcher.

Violators are subject to ejection and decisions are not subject to replay review. Refusal to allow inspection will be presumed to have violated rules and will be ejected. Club employees who assist players in using or masking foreign substances or who refuse to cooperate or who fail to report violations will be subject to fines and suspensions. 

Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow blames elbow injury on MLB's crackdown on grip enhancers: 'I 100 percent believe that contributed to me getting hurt' Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow blames elbow injury on MLB's crackdown on grip enhancers: 'I 100 percent believe that contributed to me getting hurt' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:12 Rating: 5

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