Angels pitchers happy MLB leaning into slick baseballs

Angels haven’t forgotten the particularly slick baseballs they struggled with in their recent five-game series in Seattle. Their complaints apparently haven’t gone unnoticed in Major League Baseball.

MLB sent a memo to his 30 clubs on Tuesday, stating a uniform rule on how balls, especially new ones, should be muddy and stored to prevent them from being too slick, according to multiple reports.

“The baseballs have to be the same,” Angels pitcher Michael Lorenzen said before the team’s game against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium. “We can’t get a baseball and be caught off guard by what it does. It shouldn’t be that way, and it seems to happen quite often. I’m glad they’re doing something.

“To me, it’s just a shame that someone has to get hit in the head to pull out a memo like that,” the right-hander said after being told about the memo without reading it to him. -same.

In the fifth round of Game of the Angels against the Mariners On Friday night, Lorenzen hit former Angel Justin Upton in the head with a ball that he says slipped out of his hand.

He wasn’t the only one frustrated. The previous night, Angels reliever Ryan Tepera stopped on his eighth inning to examine baseball’s plate umpire David Arrieta, throwing two to the side because he was uncomfortable with them.

“Obviously there was a problem in Seattle with the balls and that’s just unacceptable,” Tepera said after being briefed on the memo. “They were pearls. They were brand new bullets out of a dozen. There was no mud on them at all.

“We as pitchers throw baseballs every day. So we know what a good ball looks like, and those balls were nowhere near the mark.

Tepera said slick baseballs pose an injury risk to batters and pitchers — a slick baseball means you have to have a tighter grip. Tepera recalled that the day after he came out, his forearm was even more sore than usual from the slick bullets.

“It’s one of those things you don’t notice until it’s good,” said fellow Angels pitcher Patrick Sandoval.

MLB has been working on a standard procedure for applying mud and storing baseballs out of humidors since its crackdown on sticky substances last season — which led to a spike in complaints about baseballs that were slick and pitchers struggling with their catches – according to the Associated Press.

The memo, according to the Athletic, states that the application of the special mud, which comes from the Delaware River, must: be done by hand “evenly ensuring that the same mud-to-water ratio is applied with each bullet”; take at least 30 seconds to apply by baseball to ensure it adheres to leather; and be done the same day the balls will be used and within three hours of dirting other baseballs for a game that day.

Up-and-coming All-Stars

Shohei Ohtani of the Angels chats with Mike Trout as they prepare to face the Seattle Mariners.

Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, left, talks to benched Mike Trout against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

(John Froschauer/Associated Press)

It was no surprise Tuesday when the All-Star Game preliminary vote tally showed Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani in the top two of their groups.

Trout, based on those early votes, is on track for his 10th All-Star nod. On Tuesday, he had 1,295,854 votes, ranking second among American League outfielders behind New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge (1,512,368 votes).

Ohtani, meanwhile, is chasing the top vote-getter among AL designated hitters, Yordan Álvarez of the Houston Astros (835,669), with 555,056 votes.

“I think the world would love to see these guys play. … The All-Star Game is an honor,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “It’s an honor to go there every year, to be surrounded by your peers and to know that your peers also have a lot to do with the voting process.

“Ask Mike. Mike loves going there, and I’m sure he’ll play in center field in this game.

Ohtani, the reigning AL Most Valuable Player, received his first All-Star Game nomination last season, as well as his first invitation to the Home Run Derby.



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