Rays Ace Tyler Glasnow Has a Partially Torn UCL, Blames MLB's Foreign Substance Enforcement Plans

Social Navigation

Rays Ace Tyler Glasnow Has a Partially Torn UCL, Blames MLB’s Foreign Substance Enforcement Plans

Chicago Cubs

Rays ace Tyler Glasnow has a serious elbow injury, and he’s tying it back to MLB’s decision to start aggressively enforcing its foreign substance rules for pitchers.

First, the injury:

That’s gonna cost him a lot of time this season if he’s lucky, and it’s gonna end in Tommy John surgery later this year if he’s not. It’s a big blow for the 27-year-old stud who was putting up what easily could have been his best big league season.

The twist, though, is that Glasnow is tying his injury to the just-announced efforts to crack down on foreign substance use by pitchers, which has always been illegal, but has never really been enforced. Jesse Rogers chronicled Glasnow’s take on Twitter, and I can understand why he would be very frustrated:

To be sure, it’s possible that Glasnow was dealing with an arm issue for a long time and just didn’t realize the severity until now. Maybe it would’ve happened right now no matter what. Correlation for one data point is not causation.

That said, there’s logic to it. When a guy has to change what he’s doing – pretty significantly! – in the middle of the season, there is risk. Of course, the flip side to that is the fact that MLB did make it pretty clear in the offseason that it was going to start enforcing these rules more closely this season (even if it took a couple months to actually get there). It’s not like pitchers HAD to start the season by using substances.

But even that has a flip side: it wasn’t really reasonable to expect that rosin+sunscreen was going to be targeted, too. For one thing, the impact of that mix has not been shown to be on the same level as the manufactured sticky stuff. For another thing, both rosin and sunscreen are available there for pitchers naturally, so to speak. For still another thing, it always felt like rosin+sunscreen really was more about grip than about spin rate. Case in point, Glasnow’s spin rate on his fastball didn’t appreciably drop in his last two outings, and the spin rates on his breaking pitches were down only negligibly.

This is just the beginning of the many unpredictable consequences, as I mentioned earlier today. I just didn’t think rosin+sunscreen was going to be an issue. Neither did Glasnow or the other players:

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.