Josh Donaldson
(Getty, Charles Wenzelberg)

Donaldson Calls Out Cole

Former MVP and Twins Slugger Josh Donaldson had some words for Yankees’ Gerrit Cole following MLB’s announcement to crack down on the use of illegal substances. MLB announced they would be targeting pitchers whose spin rates have increased enough to raise an eyebrow.

“Is it coincidence that Gerrit Cole’s spin rate numbers went down (Thursday) after four minor-leaguers got suspended for 10 games?” 

Donaldson has a point here. After MLB made this announcement, Gerrit had one of his worst starts as a Yankee, going five innings with five earned runs. Not only that, but his spin rates on all his pitches were down as well.

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What is Spin Rate?

A pitcher’s spin rate is measured in RPM’s, or revolutions per minute. Pine tar and other substances make the ball sticky, resulting in a better grip, yielding a higher amount of RPM’s on every pitch. While Gerrit’s did not drop substantially, it’s certainly worth noting. Especially after MLB started cracking down on this.

Gerrit Cole is not the only one either. Earlier Sunday, Trevor Bauer pitched against the Atlanta Braves, and his RPM was down as well. Trevor is also a pitcher who has been accused of using a foreign substance and was removed from a game earlier this season because of it.

Josh Donaldson Spoke with MLB

Last week, MLB suspended four minor-leaguers who were caught using foreign substances while on the mound. Many considered this a warning shot by the MLB, and it’s evident MLB pitchers are taking notice.

Donaldson said he has spoken with the MLB as well about this situation. He suggested umpires inspect pitchers every half-inning.

“the next steroids of baseball ordeal.” Is how Donaldson referred to the situation as a whole.

Donaldson suggests that this is just as serious as the steroid era that occurred from the early ’90s to the 2000s. It will be interesting to see how much MLB keeps an eye on this ordeal. They seem very keen on punishing those who are caught breaking the new policy. How they’ll enforce and inspect pitchers, I have no idea. Perhaps inspecting them every half-inning could work, but I wouldn’t put random inspections behind them either.

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