This week, MLB has sent out a memo to all teams about the sticky substance problem. All forms of sticky substance, including sunscreen and rosin mixture, will be eliminated to avoid any confusion from the umpires. Tyler Glasnow feels his injury is due to not being able to grip the baseball well. It will be interesting to see how many pitchers will try to get away with using something to avoid an injury like Glasnow.
Let’s see what happened during the week in the AL East.
TAMPA BAY RAYS
The Rays lost the series to the White Sox this week, making them the second-best team in baseball for now. After pitching four innings in game one, Glasnow landed on the IL with a partially torn UCL and a flexor tendon strain. They plan to have him in rehab to avoid Tommy John surgery. The hope is that he returns by the postseason. This is a big blow for the Rays but I do not think they will suddenly go down in the standings. The team is still good to stay in first place.
Glasnow spoke after his game about how he stopped using the mixture of sunscreen and rosin a couple of starts ago since MLB was eliminating all substances. He felt that not being able to grip the baseball well was the main reason why he felt discomfort after the games and eventually got injured. He is concerned that this will happen to other pitchers because MLB decided to make this change mid-season.
Tyler Glasnow sounds off on MLB's foreign substance crackdown and how it may have led to injury 😳 pic.twitter.com/47rcTnpk0l — B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) June 15, 2021
The Rays will face the Mariners this weekend. They are one game ahead of the Red Sox in the standings. Before Thursday’s game, they acquired Mike Ford from the Yankees for cash considerations and a player to be named later. To make room for Ford on the 40-man roster, Glasnow was transferred to the 60-day IL. Ford will report to Triple-A Durham. Collin McHugh returns from the COVID-19 related IL.
BOSTON RED SOX
The Red Sox finished the series against the Blue Jays with a great performance by Nathan Eovaldi. He pitched 6.2 innings giving up no runs and had four strikeouts. Matt Barnes blew the save in the 9th giving up the game-tying home run to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The Red Sox top of the lineup did their job in getting the walk-off.
They then swept the Braves but had to score 10 runs to win. Eduardo Rodriguez pitched four innings and gave up four runs. Garrett Richards pitched four innings and gave up six runs. It was noted on Twitter that Richards’ spin rate on his 4-seam and slider was down a significant amount compared to his season average. With MLB eliminating everything a pitcher can use to grip the baseballs better, you will see a lot of spin rates go down. That aside, Richards hit an RBI double in his start against the Braves.
In his prior two starts, Richards had spin rates on his four-seamer, slider, and curve that were above his season averages. Tonight, he’s down hundreds of RPMs on his four-seamer and slider (he hasn’t thrown the curve). Not a single pitch has achieved a season-avg spin rate. — Alex Speier (@alexspeier) June 17, 2021
RED SOX GRAND SLAM!! Christian Arroyo really hit the Eurostep through the infield 😂 pic.twitter.com/fjNiUfLO2G — ESPN (@espn) June 17, 2021
NEW YORK YANKEES
Speaking of spin rates, Gerrit Cole pitched on Wednesday night against the Blue Jays. He went eight innings and gave up two runs both via the home run. His spin rates on his 4-seam and curveball were down significantly as well compared to his season average. That didn’t stop him from helping the Yankees grab another win against the Jays.
Aroldis Chapman had difficulty getting the save but was able to do it. Game one featured Jordan Montgomery pitching 5.1 innings and gave up five runs. The last run he gave up was right after Boone made the decision to keep him in after speaking with him. The offense came back and took the lead with Chapman closing it easily. Game three had the second triple play this season for the Yankees. Chris Gittens got three RBI for the night. Yankees complete the sweep in Buffalo.
Introducing: Hard Hittin’ Chris Gittens. pic.twitter.com/wH1tuVlOuh — New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 16, 2021
As mentioned with the Rays, the Yankees traded Ford after designating him for assignment. He played 22 games with the Yankees hitting three home runs, .133 batting average, .278 On-Base Percentage, and .283 Slugging percentage. It will be interesting to see who the Yankees get as the player to be named.
The Yankees host the A’s this weekend with the stadium open 100 percent.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
The Jays finished their series against the Red Sox splitting it. They couldn’t hit against Eovaldi in the series finale. They did tie the game in the 9th but the Red Sox offense walked it off. Vlad Jr. is making himself a no-brainer for the All-Star game this year and a strong case for MVP. Santiago Espinal had a 3-4 night against the Yankees in game one.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. this season: • 21 HR (1st in MLB) • 55 RBI (1st in MLB) • .450 OBP (1st in MLB) • 1.137 OPS (1st in MLB) • .688 SLG (1st in MLB) • 154 total bases (1st in MLB) • 3.7 WAR (1st in MLB among hitters) pic.twitter.com/7NTk3bJDGI — Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) June 14, 2021
Hyun Jin Ryu pitched six innings and gave up three runs in his start. Game two had an interesting 9th inning for the Jays but Guerrero Jr. was tagged out at third base while trying to get back as Chapman threw to Gary Sanchez in an attempt to not have the tying run score.
After being swept by the Yankees, the Jays head to Baltimore to play the Orioles over the weekend. They are currently under .500 baseball with a 33-34 record.
The Orioles have become the first AL team since 1945 to lose 19 road games straight. Since John Means’ no-hitter on May 5th, they are 7-30. A home series this weekend can maybe help them feel like they can win games again as they face the Jays.
The Baltimore Orioles encapsulated in one video: pic.twitter.com/PRU8n19KbN — Pickswise (@Pickswise) June 17, 2021
LET’S SPIN IT
The Red Sox have a chance to take first place during the weekend as they face the Royals. The Yankees and Jays have to continue to play well to catch up. The Red Sox have the first spot in the Wild Card standings by two games as the Astros are in second. The Yankees are behind the Astros by four.
Still plenty of time for the standings to change drastically. With small trades slowly happening and the deadline around the corner, the Rays, Yankees, Blue Jays, and Red Sox can use some pieces to help them through the second half of the season.
Follow me on Twitter to get updates on the AL East during the weekend.