New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole named in usage of illegal pitching substance

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees
Sep 29, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) delivers against the Cleveland Indians in the fourth inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

We all remember when the Houston Astros embarked on their infamous cheating scandal, but we didn’t expect their issues to follow Gerrit Cole to the New York Yankees. During his time in Houston, Cole used an illegal substance, curated by Brian “Bubba” Haskins of the Los Angeles Angels.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Cole is a major piece in this case, as a text message was released to the public. The Angels fired Harkins after the MLB began investigating into the band substance he was provided to pictures.

Here’s a look at the text message from the New York Yankees ace:

“Hey Bubba, it’s Gerrit Cole, I was wondering if you could help me out with this sticky situation,” the pitcher, then with the Astros wrote on Jan. 17, 2019, adding a wink emoji, according to the reports. “We don’t see you until May, but we have some road games in April that are in cold weather places. The stuff I had last year seizes up when it gets cold.”

Cole took his talents to the Yankees this past season on a nine-year, $324 million deal, getting as far away as possible from Houston. During his first year in pinstripes, Gerrit finished with a 2.84 ERA, 94 strikeouts, and 23 earned runs over 73 innings pitched. He ranked fourth in Cy Young voting, once again proving he is one of the best starters in the MLB. However, this substance he was utilizing back in Houston allowed him to increase his spin rate exponentially, according to 2020 Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer.

Baauer wrote in the Players’ Tribune last year that pitchers for the Astros saw significant improvements to their game when utilizing the substance.

“When I see a guy go from being a good pitcher for one team and spinning the ball at 2,200 rpm, to spinning the ball at 2,600 or 2,700 in Houston, I know exactly what happened,” Bauer wrote.

While Trevor never specifically named Cole in his story, he knew it was being used all along. Of course, Cole has been wrapped up in many different scandals at this point in his career, some of which were not his doing. This one seems to have stuck, pun intended.