5:22 PM ET
TAMPA, Fla. — New York Yankees hitters involved in testing a ball that has undergone a factory rubbing have issues with the prototype’s color.
“I was asked what I thought, and I thought it was too dark,” outfielder Brett Gardner said. “The ball felt the same coming off the bat. I’d just like to see the ball be a little more of a white shade so it’s a little easier for the hitters to see.”
The objective of the tests, conducted during spring training, is to develop a ball that eliminates the need for the umpires’ room attendants to apply Delaware River mud mixed with water on about eight dozen new balls before each game. The goal is to improve the consistency of the baseballs’ performance.
The league is taking feedback from players and coaches, which will be incorporated into a later version of the factory-rubbed baseballs. The commissioner’s office has not yet considered whether the prototype could be tested in minor league or instructional games.