MLB News and Rumors

MLB Foreign Substance Policy: Sticky Substance Memo and Ban Info

Adam Taylor McKillop
Check out everything you need to know about MLB's crackdown on foreign substances and sticky substances.
Check out everything you need to know about MLB's crackdown on foreign substances and sticky substances. / Mike McGinnis/Getty Images
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On Monday, the MLB announced it will begin its official crackdown on the enforcement of rules about foreign substances on baseballs. Specifically, the MLB aims this crackdown on prohibiting the use of foreign or "sticky" substances being applied to baseballs around the league.

MLB Foreign Substance Crackdown

Last week, the league announced it will enhance the enforcement of its rules to prohibit players applying foreign substances to baseballs. The league has provided guidance to all 30 MLB teams and umpire crews to provide a "uniform standard for the consistent application of the rules."

Who Will the MLB Sticky Substance Rules Affect?

The MLB is targeting this new sticky substance crackdown to pitchers. The specific guidance details regular checks of all pitchers and will not require a request from opposing managers to illicit the checks.

MLB Foreign Substance Policy

According to the new rules, any pitcher who is caught applying or possessing any foreign substances that violate MLB rules will be immediately ejected from the game. These pitchers will also be subject to automatic suspensions with MLB rules pointing to the possibility of 10-game suspensions.

Starting pitchers will be subject to one mandatory check throughout the game while relievers must be checked following the end of the inning once they enter a game. Or, if they are taken out of the game prior to an inning ending, the check will take place then.

MLB Foreign Substance Ban

According to the official MLB rulebook, the details regarding the league's crackdown on foreign substances are explained in Rule 3.01.

Rule 3.01 states: “no player shall intentionally discolor or damage the ball by rubbing it with soil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sandpaper, emery paper or other foreign substance.”

MLB Foreign Substance Memo

The MLB also revealed that position players, including catchers, will be subject to these enhanced rules. Similarly to pitchers, catchers will undergo routine checks for the use of foreign substances. Umpires can also check position players if they deem "conduct consistent with the use of a foreign substance by the pitcher."

What Foreign or Sticky Substances are Allowed?

The MLB maintains that rosin bags on the mound are the only substances allowed to be used by pitchers or position players. All other sticky substances except rosin will be strictly prohibited.


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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

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