Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer criticized Major League Baseball for its new foreign-substance policy on Tuesday night, calling the decision "a mess."
MLB released a memo Tuesday detailing an updated policy regarding foreign substances on baseballs. If any substance is found on a ball during a game, a pitcher can be ejected and suspended for 10 days.
The new policy has drawn a flood of criticism from pitchers across baseball. Bauer noted Tuesday nearly all pitchers use some form of rosin and sweat to enhance grip on the baseball, and that banning those substances could result in injury or a loss of control for pitchers across the sport. Bauer added that banning the use of all substances midseason also serves as a danger to pitchers.
"MLB was telling players and teams all year, do not change anything, we're not going to enforce it this year," Bauer said. "And no all of a sudden, everything is changing.
Bauer also criticized baseball for its edict to umpires regarding foreign substances. Umpires will now be tasked with checking for substances both during live-action and between innings, and they will be able to eject players and managers at their own discretion.
"They haven’t thought through a lot of these things, and they’re making umpires the judge, jury and executioner of these things," Bauer said. "The best analogy for this is you basically have people who have never seen traffic before and have no radar guns, and you tell them, 'Hey, you have to tell who’s speeding and who’s not.'"
MLB's new policy isn't an effort to simply outlaw common substances such as sweat and rosin. Different mixtures such as Spider Tack have become increasingly common for pitchers in recent years, leading to a spike in spin rate across the sport. Numerous notable pitchers have been linked to the foreign-substance scandal, including Yankees ace Gerrit Cole and 2019 World Series champion Max Scherzer.
Bauer, 30, won the National League Cy Young in 2020 as he finished the season with a 1.73 ERA in 11 starts. He's posted a 2.64 ERA in 2021, striking out 111 batters in his first 88 2/3 innings.