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Friday, June 10, 2022

MLB Testing Pre-Tacked Baseballs In Double-A This Season

Major League Baseball has been testing a pair of tacky substances in the Texas and Southern Leagues — two of the three Double-A levels — during the season, reports Evan Drellich of the Athletic. It’s the continuation of ongoing league efforts to find an improved grip substance for pitchers.

Drellich provides a breakdown of the experiment. For the first two months of the year, a substance from one of two different manufacturers has been applied to the baseballs. The league is now pivoting to treating the balls with mud, the standard process used at the MLB level, as a control group. That control testing will be with the standard Major League ball, which is different than the ball typically used up through Double-A. The second manufacturer’s substance will be tested at some point later in the year.

The testing in Double-A comes on the heels of other fairly recent experiments about applying a universal grip enhancer to the ball. Baseball America reported last September that MLB would introduce a pre-tacked prototype ball in certain Triple-A games late in the 2021 season, and Drellich writes that one of the substances currently under consideration was first introduced during last year’s Arizona Fall League. Commissioner Rob Manfred has previously expressed support for the possibility of a pre-tacked ball eventually being implemented at the major league level.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 10, 2022 at 12:07 AM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sticky stuff

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   1. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: June 10, 2022 at 09:19 AM (#6080973)
without speaking as to the ball specifically used here, i'm pro pre-tacked balls.
   2. . . . . . . Posted: June 10, 2022 at 09:26 AM (#6080975)
not to pry, I pray, but why pro pre tacked balls
   3. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 10, 2022 at 09:37 AM (#6080979)
It is so Manfredesque, in the midst of people complaining about a lack of offense and too many strikeouts, to have him say "We gotta find a way to help these pitchers cheat."
   4. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: June 10, 2022 at 09:49 AM (#6080980)
2) okay, that made me chuckle.

i see pre-tacked baseballs as a way to get pitchers sufficient grip without the use of foreign substances. this then can lead to a situation where umps don't have to go "we're going to let these products go but don't use anything else" or where pitchers and hitters are concerned that the ball might get away from the hurler. (hitters do not like this!)
i want to make umpire's jobs easier. this has the potential to do this. (also, americans playing in npb (hitters and pitchers) have largely liked the pre-tacked balls there, from what i've seen.)
   5. Buck Coats Posted: June 10, 2022 at 12:02 PM (#6081005)
where pitchers and hitters are concerned that the ball might get away from the hurler. (hitters do not like this!)

As I always point out when this is brought up, people say this but I've never once seen a hitter say this. I've only ever seen pitchers and pitching coaches claim that hitters want the pitchers to have better grip and control.
   6. Der-K's tired of these fruits from poisoned trees Posted: June 10, 2022 at 12:06 PM (#6081006)
I have heard hitters tell me this. They were minor leaguers, not guys in the bigs, so their mileage may vary, but....
   7. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: June 10, 2022 at 12:10 PM (#6081007)
pitchers and hitters are concerned that the ball might get away from the hurler. (hitters do not like this!)

Back before the advent of tacky stuff, if a pitcher was having trouble controlling the ball at max velocity, he/she would throw slower.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: June 10, 2022 at 04:28 PM (#6081038)
#7 ... I'd like to introduce you to Sam McDowell. (See also Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, etc.)

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