Girardi in favor of pitchers improving their grip

Girardi in favor of pitchers improving their grip

NEW YORK -- Here's something the Yankees and Red Sox can agree on.

A day after Red Sox manager John Farrell said he'd be in favor of an approved substance that would help pitchers improve their grip, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on Tuesday that he would like to see the same thing.

"I really believe there should be a substance behind the mound that every pitcher is allowed to use," Girardi said, before Tuesday night's game against the Royals. "If you want to check the pitchers before they go out and make sure there's nothing else on them, go ahead. But you don't want to get in a situation where you're having players suspended for eight games."

Pineda tossed for substance

Girardi had to deal with a suspension last season, after starter Michael Pineda was found with pine tar on his neck during a game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. In the last week, two pitchers received suspensions for using illegal substances while on the mound.

Girardi agreed with Farrell that pitchers need something to improve their grip on the ball, and Girardi said he believes most hitters would feel the same way. Girardi said he has even asked umpires why the ball bag isn't heated on cold days, in an effort to makes the baseballs less slippery.

"Hitters know pitchers are all using something [now]," Girardi said. "You know that. I think a hitter wants to know the pitcher knows where the ball is going."

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.