Davey Martinez would welcome banning mid-inning substance checks on pitchers

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Martinez in favor of banning mid-inning substance checks originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Major League Baseball is in the middle of enforcing a new rule prohibiting pitchers from using foreign substances while throwing to hitters and it's come with some growing pains. 

On Tuesday night, Phillies manager Joe Girardi had umpires check Nationals ace Max Scherzer in the middle of the inning, despite Scherzer passing an inspection earlier in the game. 

Scherzer and the Nationals didn't appreciate the move, and as the Nats prepare for another game against their division rivals, manager Davey Martinez endorsed a rule change banning mid-inning checks like the one Girardi executed in Game 1 of their series. 

"I would welcome that," Martinez said before Wednesday's game. "I really would. These guys are getting checked enough. For me, the umpires are doing their due diligence, I'm not gonna go out there and oversee what they're doing. They're watching everything that's going on."

Martinez added that for an entire inning he paid close attention to the second base umpire, noting he did not take his eyes off the pitcher once. 

"I think it would be beneficial," Martinez said. "If you're going to let the umpires do this just let them do their job and let them check [the pitchers]. We don't have to call timeout, go back out there and have them checked again. The game's slow enough, yesterday's game took forever and we don't need any more stoppage time."

Now that pitchers aren't allowed to use anything to improve their grip on the baseball, we've seen wide-ranging complaints about the new rules hindering their ability to control their pitches, specifically fastballs on the inside part of the plate. 

Scherzer let a high fastball get away from him against Philadelphia's Alec Bohm and with nothing on the ball, hitters are seemingly facing a higher likelihood of getting plunked with elevated heat. 

"The one thing I noticed [Tuesday] is that for some reason the balls were so white," Martinez said. "There was almost absolutely nothing on them, it was like taking the balls out of a wrapper and putting them in. I got some balls yesterday while I was on the mound and it was like they just came out of the box."

The league has yet to address the pitchers' complaints on the subject or any rule changes like banning mid-inning checks. Either way, more issues are stemming from this substance issue and those such as Martinez just want to let the umpires do their jobs. 

"I thought the umpires did a great job [Tuesday]," Martinez said. "They didn't make a big deal about it, they went and checked and the pitchers went on their way. It's their job now to do checks and I thought they did a great job."