MLB’s new guidance forced pitchers to get inspected by umpires in between innings or after pitching changes. Umpires can inspect players if they feel like they may be using illegal substances and managers can ask an umpire to check a pitcher as well.
Kershaw said baseball may face an issue with managers interrupting pitchers’ flow by asking for a check. He said it’s one rule MLB may need to adjust.
"I think there should be a punishment if they don’t catch anything on the guy," Kershaw told reporters after watching Washington Nationals star Max Scherzer getting checked upon Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi’s request.
"Scherzer is one of the best pitchers of our generation. To see him get checked, I think it was a first and third situation or guys on base, and mess up his rhythm. I think he ended up getting out of it, but you better find something if you're going to call him out like that," Scherzer added, via NBC Sports Washington.
"Maybe if they lose a challenge, or maybe if they have a challenge they can’t do it. I don’t know. But I do think there should be repercussions for managers doing that on a whim like that because if you call somebody out — anybody, but somebody of Max Scherzer’s caliber – and you don’t find anything, I think that looks pretty bad on his part, the manager’s part."
Scherzer appeared upset with the checks Tuesday night. During the fourth inning, Girardi asked umpires to check Scherzer after he claimed he saw something suspicious.
Girardi said he wasn’t trying to gain a comeuppance.
"I’m not playing games, I’m trying to win games here. I have respect for what Max has done in his career, but I have to do what’s right for our team," Girardi said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.