Major League Baseball’s leading hitter doesn’t have much faith in the upcoming crackdown on illegal foreign substances.
Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos, owner of a MLB-leading .364 batting average as of Friday afternoon, believes the league “doesn’t care” about the growing issue of pitchers using foreign substances on the ball to increase their spin rate.
“Is it illegal or is not illegal to put stuff on a ball?” Castellanos said on “The Chris Rose Rotation” podcast Thursday. “It’s illegal. The league obviously knows that they are doing it, but the league doesn’t care. They don’t care because if it was really a problem that they wanted, they would put people in the bullpen to check gloves, to check hats, whatever. The league would do something about it. But honestly, I don’t think it’s that important to them.”
MLB has seen several high-profile incidents this season. Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer was investigated for doctoring balls, while Cardinals reliever Giovanny Gallegos had his hat confiscated over an alleged substance on the brim.
The league-wide batting average of .236 would be an all-time low.
Owners met for two days this week to discuss the issue, coming to a consensus on how to increase enforcement against pitchers using foreign substances.
“It’s just the league has to figure out if it wants it to be illegal or not and stick by it,” Castellanos said. “For the pitchers to say, ‘Well, we need it for control, so we don’t hit you in the head,’ you know, fine, drill me. I’m on first base. That helps my OPS and I get paid for that. Sacrifice some velocity for some control.
“But if the league just says that, ‘Oh, you’re not supposed to be doing that,’ but you see pitchers… just tell us that you don’t give a shit so hitters know.”