Josh Donaldson wonders if Gerrit Cole used a foreign substance

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Major League Baseball’s planned crackdown on pitchers using illegal substances has left some hitters wondering which pitchers have been doing well for some time.

Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson has raised suspicions about New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole, questioning whether a recent drop in the ace’s turnover rate was linked to a report on the suspension of minor leaguers for the consumption of illegal substances. According to Baseball Savant, Cole’s spin rate was down Thursday across all of his courts, but most notably a 125 RPM drop on his fastball.

“Is it a coincidence that Gerrit Cole’s turnover rate dropped after four Minor Leaguers were suspended for 10 games?” Donaldson said, via Dan Hayes of The Athletic. “Is that possible? I don’t know. Maybe. At the same time, with this situation, they let the guys do it.

Cole has been linked to the use of illegal substances before, but there was never any proof. Still, if nothing else, it describes the level of suspicion surrounding the game among the hitters. MLB plans a serious crackdown on this, and it looks like it will be well received by positional players. This is especially true if this level of suspicion is normal around the game.



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