REPORT: Multiple "Suspicious" Baseballs Used by Trevor Bauer Today Have Been Sent to MLB for Inspection

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REPORT: Multiple “Suspicious” Baseballs Used by Trevor Bauer Today Have Been Sent to MLB for Inspection

Chicago Cubs

Items to note up front:

1.) Trevor Bauer has previously said that there is no way to jump the spin rate on your fastball 300+ RPMs without using an illegal, grip-enhancing substance.

2.) Bauer was outspoken about pitchers using these substances across baseball, getting an advantage that he said was bigger than steroids.

3.) Bauer’s spin rate jumped 300+ RPMs last year. It was extremely suspicious, and it was frustrating how few were noting it as it was happening, even as Bauer went on to win the Cy Young on the strength of his suddenly tip-top-elite performance.

4.) With artificial spin bumps increasingly in the news, MLB has decided to more aggressively target the use of illegal grip substances.

Got all that? Have I connected the dots sufficiently? Because if so, they take you right to here:

According to Rosenthal’s report – and others have noted that balls were being taken out of play – an issue was brought to the umpires’ attention during Bauer’s start today, so the umpires responded by removing balls that “had visible markings and were sticky.” Those balls have been sent to the league for further investigation.

The use of foreign substances to doctor the baseball are, of course, against the rules. MLB has long seemed to look the other way, as so many pitchers were using sticky grip stuff, both for increased control (meh, OK by me) and to artificially increase spin rate (very bad!). You piece all of this together, and it would seem that Bauer put the spotlight on himself, and now MLB is investigating the $40+ million Dodgers signing.

If Bauer is busted, he could be suspended, among other financial consequences (as Rosenthal’s report notes, though, it’s still unclear what is needed to “prove” cheating here, and right now MLB is merely investigating). But maybe the public shaming, given all that he’s said and done in the past, would probably be the loudest part of all of this for Bauer. And he’ll definitely have to give the 2020 NL Cy Young to Yu Darvish ….

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.