Los Angeles Angels starter Alex Cobb has been around the Major Leagues for quite some time. Cobb made his MLB debut in 2011 and has pitched alongside plenty of talented arms over that time. He’s also seen plenty of pitchers using illegal foreign substances, which has become a major point of focus in the past few weeks.
Pitchers and hitters from around the league have all offered their thoughts on pitchers using foreign substances to increase spin rates and gain better control of the baseball. Guys like Trevor Bauer — who has come under great scrutiny for his own potential use of these substances — have said that it needs to be removed from the game to return to an even playing field, and Angels superstar Mike Trout echoed those sentiments as well.
“I’ve known about it for a few years,” said the Angels right-hander, who has been in the majors since 2011. “I know of certain guys who use it and it’s kind of elevated their careers. It’s a good thing baseball’s addressing it.”
“Hitters want you to have a grip,” Cobb said, “but what’s happening lately is unfair.”
For a pitcher like Cobb, who relies on a sinker to force soft contact, using substances beyond the typical rosin and sunscreen to increase spin rate is actually harmful.
“I wish I could use it honestly,” he said. “But it kind of has the opposite effect for me. I don’t blame the people who are using it. It’s just like the steroid era. Everybody else was using and if you’re not, you’re living ethically but you’re not going to be around this game very long. I’m glad that guys won’t have to be put in that position.”
There are plenty of varying perspectives when it comes to this issue. New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso recently came out in favor of foreign substances, saying that it actually keeps batters safer and that the focus should be on the MLB intentionally changing the baseball every single year.
Like many issues that are this widespread, there likely isn’t a perfect solution. However, for the time being, Cobb is seemingly getting his wish with the MLB launching multiple investigations into this issue. Now, it will be interesting to see what happens to spin rates among certain pitchers over the next few months.
Trout discusses progress with calf strain
While Trout is recovering from a Grade 2 calf strain, he’s still found a way to contribute to the Angels behind the scenes. Recently, he gave an update on his eventual return and how he’s feeling, saying that he’s had some good days and bad days, but that things are steadily improving the way they’re supposed to.
He’s currently three weeks in to a 6-8 week recovery window. Hopefully, he is only 3-5 weeks away and can be back just before or right after the All-Star Break.