For the most part, the mere threat of substance checks and 10-game suspensions (without the ability to replace the player on the roster) has been enough to discourage the use of spin-enhancing substances throughout baseball this past week. The checks have been regular, but so modest that, frankly, either EVERYONE has stopped using, or the checks still aren’t going to catch everyone.
But they were eventually going to catch someone! And apparently, it happened today.
Mariners lefty Hector Santiago was undergoing the standard check when leaving his appearance today when umpires spotted something, confiscated his glove, and tossed him from the game:
— Robert Flores (@RoFlo) June 27, 2021
Mariners’ Hector Santiago is ejected from the game in MLB’s first foreign-substance violation since the crackdown. pic.twitter.com/0tbByrr7UO
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) June 27, 2021
We’ll see how the process unfolds from here, but if there’s anything sticky there on his glove, then Santiago is in for a suspension. The 33-year-old lefty has pitched exceptionally well in relief for the Mariners this year, and, since you’re wondering, his spin rates have definitely dropped significantly this month (though he was never a huge spin rate guy to begin with). So if he was still using sticky stuff, he was apparently not using it very well!