MINNEAPOLIS — Jameson Taillon is one pitcher who is pleased Major League Baseball appears set to finally reduce — if not eliminate — foreign substances being permitted.
“I’m really excited for it,’’ the right-hander said Thursday before the Yankees’ 7-5 loss to the Twins at Target Field. “I think it’s gonna help talented teams. … I know it sounds crazy, but eliminating sticky stuff is actually gonna help us going forward.”
Taillon said he’s confident his teammates don’t rely on Spider Tack or some of the other substances pitchers have turned to in recent years, despite the accusations of players like Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson, who called out Gerrit Cole after his spin rate dropped as the impending crackdown grows closer.
Asked if he thought this was similar to trying to take steroids and other PEDs out of the game, Taillon said, “I don’t know how much it enhances performance. I’m curious now if everyone goes clean, what the numbers are going forward.”
And Taillon, who next starts in Philadelphia on Saturday, said while MLB is coming down on illegal substances, it should at least temporarily ban all substances, including rosin — which he said he doesn’t use.
“If we’re gonna do this, completely eliminate it for now,’’ Taillon said. “If guys start getting hit [by pitches] more than already are, then evaluate it.”
He agreed with Giancarlo Stanton, who said Wednesday night it was easy to tell when pitches were doing things they weren’t supposed to.
“If you watch a big league game, it’s pretty noticeable the guys who are using it and not afraid of getting caught with it,’’ Taillon said. “Some guys are sneaky about it and other guys have no fear about going to their glove.”
If it seems unusual for a pitcher to come out in favor of the enforcement change, Taillon said he wouldn’t have come out against it had it not already become an issue. Now that it has, he said it’s “getting out of control.”
Cole pitched well Wednesday in his first start since Donaldson levied the thinly veiled accusations against him.
“I think this may have lit a fire under him,’’ Taillon said of Cole. “I don’t think some sticky stuff is what makes Gerrit Cole, Gerrit Cole.”
Cole declined to answer when asked if he’d ever used Spider Tack. Taillon, when asked if he’d ever used — or been tempted to use it — said he “messed around with” the substance when a friend gave him some while he was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
“I couldn’t even throw the ball with it,’’ Taillon said. “It gave me the yips. It freaked me out. That was enough for me. Some people can figure out how to make that stuff work. For me, that wasn’t the answer. I think it’s gonna be fun to have a fair playing field. I think it’ll be good for the game.”