Garrett Richards has must-see spin rate change since crackdown
Major League Baseball has faced a great deal of criticism for the way the league has cracked down on pitchers using foreign substances, but there is no denying that the new rules have had an impact on the game. Garrett Richards may be the best example of that.
Richards allowed two homers and four earned runs in just 1 2/3 innings in the Boston Red Sox’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night. The spin rate on his pitches showed an eye-popping decrease from his season averages.
Garrett Richards' spin rates from his season average tonight:
Down 534 rpm on his curveball.
266 rpm on his 4-seam fastball
216 rpm on his slider. https://t.co/baVr3LhLDG
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) June 24, 2021
While he didn’t openly admit to using Spider Tack or other foreign substances previously, Richards’ quote about the new crackdown said it all.
“I feel like I need to be a different pitcher than I was the last 9 1/2 years,” the right-hander said, via Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe.
The new changes have obviously had an impact. That impact will be more pronounced for some pitchers and teams than others, but this graph clearly shows that there has been an overall decrease in spin rate across MLB. Richards and others are going to have to find new ways to be effective.