Understanding the Foreign Substance Check in Baseball
Baseball has seen an increase in the scrutiny of pitcher’s use of foreign substances on baseballs in recent years. The checks carried out to ensure pitchers aren’t cheating have raised concerns in the baseball community.
The Science Behind the Check
Cincinnati Reds umpires recently almost ejected Clarke Schmidt during a “foreign substance check.” Schmidt explained that these checks are multi-layered tests used to determine if players are using substances such as rosin or sunscreen to increase their grip on the ball.
The level of humidity and sweat also plays a role in the stickiness of substances, adding a level of complexity to the check that can often result in confusion on the field. Schmidt noted that changes in the air quality and the amount of sweat on the skin can significantly alter the effectiveness of rosin.
Yankees Pitcher Clarke Schmidt’s Experience
Clarke Schmidt acknowledged that he was lucky to avoid any repercussions from his near-ejection. He noted the importance of the checks to maintain a level playing field and to ensure the integrity of the game.
After struggling in his first few starts, Schmidt’s performance has improved since being given another shot in the starting rotation. His progress has come at a crucial time for the Yankees who are still without Carlos Rodon.
While Schmidt’s performance has improved recently, the future is still uncertain. The Yankees’ rotation will eventually be back to full strength, and Schmidt’s room for error will only shrink.
If he does get moved back to the bullpen, Schmidt said he hopes to be utilized in a different relief role. He said he is committed to putting together quality starts and continuing to improve his performance every time he takes the mound.