Hart Graduate Tyler Glasnow suffers long-term injury

Tyler Glasnow, Hart alumnus and starting pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays, underwent season-ending surgery in early August. He is not expected to return until 2023.

Before his injury, Glasnow was an early contender for the highly coveted Cy Young Award. He boasted a 2.66 earned run average in his 14 starts.

Glasnow partially blames his injury on Major League Baseball’s foreign substance ban. This controversial policy bans pitchers from using any “sticky” substance on the ball- from sunscreen and rosin to more questionable ones, like Spider-Tack.

For decades, pitchers have used “sticky substances” to better grip baseballs. This helps them throw more accurate pitches, reducing the likelihood of losing control and hitting batters. However, recent concoctions have enabled pitchers to drastically increase their spin-rates, which gives them an incredible advantage. This new practice has widely been seen as cheating.

Banning these “spin-rate substances” has generally been received well. However, both pitchers and hitters have been upset that Major League Baseball banned other substances, like sunscreen and rosin, from being used as well. These kinds of substances only helped pitchers better grip the baseball, not with spin rate. This move could potentially be dangerous for hitters, and as Tyler Glasnow has demonstrated, to pitchers as well.

Because of the ban, Glasnow had to overhaul the way he threw a baseball. Without proper time to prepare, he felt intense discomfort after pitching without substances. In his second start after the ban, he tore his UCL, ending his season and forcing him to undergo Tommy John surgery, which is known for having a long recovery time.

“I just don’t want this to happen to somebody else,” said Glasnow. 

Fans and players await the long-term effects of MLB’s ban, but as Glasnow indicated and demonstrated, it has the potential to go south.