Mariners lefthander Hector Santiago became the first pitcher ejected for pitch doctoring since MLB began enforcing its rules against foreign substances.
After Santiago was removed with one out and the bases loaded in the fifth inning of Seattle's game against the White Sox, umpire Phil Cuzzi performed the necessary check for sticky stuff. He found a substance on Santiago's glove, met with Mariners manager Scott Servais and passed the glove to an MLB authenticator, who put it in a plastic bag.
Under the guidelines announced by Major League Baseball on June 15, Santiago will now be subject to a 10-day suspension if he is ruled to have possessed or applied a foreign substance during the game.
MLB began enforcing its rules prohibiting the use of foreign substances last Monday after the public outcry about pitch doctoring became too loud to ignore. In recent years, more pitchers have turned to sticky stuff as a way to increase the spin rates on their pitches, which is partly to blame for the league-wide shortage of offense.
However, many players have have been frustrated with how the league has handled its crackdown. Rays ace Tyler Glasnow blamed his recent UCL tear on the sudden crackdown. A's pitcher Sergio Romo made headlines for pulling down his pants during a check while, earlier on the same day, Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer vehemently reacted to a check requested by Phillies manager Joe Girardi.
A Sports Illustrated investigative report from earlier this month revealed the prevalence of the pitch-doctoring scandal, with one recently retired pitcher estimating that 80 to 90% of pitchers had been using some form of sticky stuff before MLB started cracking down.
More MLB Coverage:
• He Made Sticky Stuff for MLB Pitchers for 15 Years. Now He's Speaking Out.
• Scherzer-Girardi Fiasco Reveals Woes of Sticky Stuff Crackdown
• MLB's Pitch-Doctoring Crackdown Presents New Problems for the League
• Miami's Young Guns Offer a Brighter Future for Flailing Fish