Mets’ Jacob deGrom becomes first MLB pitcher checked for foreign substances under new enforcement protocols

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Monday afternoon, New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom returned to the mound for the first time since exiting his last start with a minor shoulder issue. It was minor enough that he did not require an injured list stint, and the fact deGrom came out throwing 99-101 mph against the Braves is a pretty good indication he’s feeling strong. His fastball remains elite.

Monday is also the first day of MLB’s new foreign substance enforcement protocols. MLB is cracking down on the widespread use of sticky stuff, and as part of the new protocols, starting pitchers will be checked for foreign substances at least once per game. Relievers will be checked at the end of the inning or when they exit the game, and there will be random checks throughout.

DeGrom became the first pitcher to be inspected for foreign substances as part of the new enforcement protocols. The umpires were not picking on him, it was simple scheduling. He was the first pitcher to pitch Monday, and his glove, hat, and belt were checked as he came off the mound following a 1-2-3 first inning. Here’s the inspection:

The umpires found nothing unsavory on deGrom’s person and he was allowed to continue. Braves lefty Kyle Muller was inspected after the bottom of the first inning and was clean as well, so there were no issues one inning into the new enforcement plan. Foreign substances violators will be ejected and suspended 10 days with pay.

DeGrom, 33, took a 0.54 ERA in 11 starts into Monday’s game. He’s struck out 111 batters against only eight walks in 67 innings, and he has more runs driven in as a hitter (five) than earned runs allowed as a pitcher (four). CBS Sports’ R.J. Anderson took a look at how his fastball is better than ever in 2021.

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