Pitcher foreign substance rules

Major League Baseball (MLB) has taken decisive action to address the issue of pitcher foreign substances, implementing strict rules and enforcement measures. The new regulations aim to level the playing field, uphold fair competition, and enhance the integrity of the game.

In the 2022 season, MLB introduced random inspections to detect the use of foreign substances by pitchers. These inspections include checks of the fingers, hands, glove, hat, and belt. Umpires have been given additional guidance to identify the presence of foreign substances on a pitcher’s hand or fingers.

Inspections will be conducted between innings or after pitching changes to minimize game delays. Managers have the right to request inspections based on observed behavior, and catchers, as well as position players, may also be subject to inspections.

If a foreign substance is found, the pitcher will face immediate ejection from the game and suspension. Teams will be held accountable for foreign substances found in any area of the clubhouse.

These measures are aimed at increasing action in the game and reducing strikeouts by eliminating the use of foreign substances. The use of rosin for grip is still allowed, but its combination with other substances or application to gloves and uniforms is strictly prohibited.

The enhanced inspection and enforcement efforts highlight MLB’s commitment to ensuring fair play and maintaining the integrity of the sport. By implementing these rules, MLB aims to address concerns surrounding the use of foreign substances and promote a level playing field for all teams and players.

Enhanced Enforcement and Guidelines

Following increased monitoring and enforcement efforts during the previous season, Major League Baseball (MLB) has decided to enhance the enforcement of pitcher foreign substance rules for the 2023 season. These enhanced measures aim to ensure fair play and maintain a level playing field for all teams and players.

Starting pitchers will now undergo multiple mandatory checks per game, while relief pitchers will be inspected either at the end of their innings or when they are removed from the game. These increased checks will prevent any potential illegal use of foreign substances throughout the game and further deter performance enhancement.

Umpires will have the authority to perform checks at any time they notice an unusually sticky baseball or observe a pitcher reaching for their glove, hat, belt, or other parts of their uniform or body. These random inspections will be more thorough, providing a higher level of scrutiny and detection.

Furthermore, umpires may resume checking pitchers’ caps, gloves, and belts, in addition to their hands and fingers. By expanding the scope of inspections, MLB aims to leave no stone unturned in uncovering any potential illegal use of foreign substances.

If a player is found with a foreign substance, they will face immediate ejection from the game and a suspension of 10 games. The penalties are designed to deter players from using illegal substances and protect the integrity of the game.

Umpires will exercise discretion in determining the presence of foreign substances. Players who refuse inspections will be presumed guilty, emphasizing the importance of transparency and cooperation with the enforcement process.

These enhanced enforcement measures and guidelines align with MLB’s commitment to fair competition and the eradication of illegal substances. By maintaining a level playing field and encouraging clean and ethical gameplay, MLB aims to uphold the integrity and excitement of the sport.


Enhancements Details
Increased Checks Starting pitchers undergo multiple mandatory checks per game. Relief pitchers inspected at the end of their innings or when removed from the game.
Thorough Inspections Umpires perform random and more thorough inspections, including checking pitchers’ caps, gloves, belts, as well as their hands and fingers.
Strict Penalties Player found with a foreign substance faces immediate ejection and a suspension of 10 games.
Umpire Discretion Umpires have discretion in determining the presence of foreign substances, and players who refuse inspections are presumed guilty.

Do the Rules on Pitcher Rubber Regulations also Apply to Foreign Substances?

Yes, the pitcher rubber regulations also apply to foreign substances. Major League Baseball has been cracking down on the use of foreign substances in order to maintain a level playing field. Pitchers found in violation of these regulations can face penalties, including suspension and fines.

Impact and Future Modifications

The crackdown on foreign substances and the stricter enforcement of pitcher rules are expected to have a significant impact on various aspects of the game in Major League Baseball (MLB).

Prior to the implementation of the new guidelines, the use of foreign substances by pitchers was linked to increased control but also a higher rate of hit-by-pitches. Despite initial concerns that stricter enforcement would result in even more hit-by-pitches, the rate remained high even before the changes were introduced.

Furthermore, the decline in spin rates and the subsequent rise in offensive performance suggest that pitchers were finding ways to bypass spot checks while still utilizing illegal substances. This indicates the need for even stricter enforcement and modifications to ensure fair play and uphold the integrity of the game.

MLB will closely monitor the impact of these policies on competition and player health. Based on these observations, the league may make adjustments to further enhance enforcement in the future. Additionally, MLB plans to focus on implementing stricter enforcement of the balk rule, which could potentially lead to adjustments by pitchers during the upcoming spring training.

The ultimate goal is to eliminate the use of foreign substances, prevent unfair advantages, and create a level playing field where offensive performance and hit-by-pitch rates are not influenced by illegal means. By taking these steps, MLB aims to improve the overall quality and integrity of the game while ensuring fairness for all teams and players.

Scroll to Top