MINNEAPOLIS – Jameson Taillon is a pitcher who is happy that Major League Baseball appears to be on the verge of reducing, if not eliminating, permitted foreign substances.
“I’m really excited for this,” the right-hander said Thursday before the The Yankees lost 7-5 to the Twins to the target field. “I think it will help talented teams. … I know it sounds crazy, but taking out the sticky stuff is actually going to help us move forward.
Taillon said he’s convinced his teammates aren’t relying on Spider Tack or some of the other substances that launchers have turned to in recent years, despite accusations from players like Josh Donaldson of Minnesota, who called Gerrit Cole after his turnover rate plummeted as the looming crackdown draws closer.
When asked if he thought it was similar to trying to remove steroids and other PEDs from the game, Taillon said, “I don’t know how much that improves performance. I’m curious now if everyone is going clean, what are the numbers to come. “
And Taillon, who starts in Philadelphia on Saturday, said that even as MLB tackles illegal substances, it should at least temporarily ban all substances, including rosin – which he said it does not use.
“If we’re going to do that, take it out completely for now,” Taillon said. “If the guys start to get hit [by pitches] more than it already is, so rate it.
He agreed with Giancarlo Stanton, who said on Wednesday night it was easy to tell when the pitches were doing things they weren’t supposed to do.
“If you watch a big league game, you’ll notice the guys who use it aren’t afraid to get caught up with it,” Taillon said. “Some guys are sneaky about it and other guys aren’t afraid to go to their glove.”
While it seems unusual for a pitcher to come out in favor of the app change, Taillon said he wouldn’t have spoken out against it if it hadn’t already become an issue. Now that it is, he said it was “getting out of hand.”
Cole pitched well on Wednesday in his first start since Donaldson brought the thinly veiled charges against him.
“I think it maybe started a fire under him,” Taillon said of Cole. “I don’t think sticky stuff is what makes Gerrit Cole, Gerrit Cole.”
Cole declined to answer when asked if he had ever used Spider Tack. Taillon, when asked if he had ever used it – or had been tempted to use it – said he “rummaged” with the substance when a friend gave it to him while he was going. Tommy John was interested in surgery again.
“I couldn’t even throw the ball with it,” Taillon said. “It gave me barks. It scared me. It was enough for me. Some people can figure out how to make this stuff work. For me, that was not the answer. I think it’s going to be fun to have a level playing field. I think it will be good for the game.