New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole and Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander are among several pitchers named in a lawsuit for using illegal ball-gripping substances provided by a former Los Angeles Angels visiting clubhouse manager.
Harkins names several pitchers in the suit who used his substances and claimed he was made a “scapegoat” in the league’s efforts to enforce its policies on banned ball-gripping substances. Harkins named Cole, Verlander, Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez, Corey Kluber, Adam Wainwright and various Angels pitchers.
Last January, Cole reportedly texted Harkins to inquire about paying for a ball-gripping substance that would work in cold weather locations. It’s unclear if any other pitchers had similar text message exchanges with the former Angels employee.
None of the pitchers Harkins mentioned in the suit have released a statement on the matter. However, it’s likely they do so soon. It’s unclear if MLB will investigate the specific pitchers mentioned for using banned substances.
Harkins was with the Angels for 40 years before being fired last March.