Baseball will be the latest recipient of a 21st century technology, as it has been announced by the Major League Baseball that Pitchers and Catchers will this season be able to use a new wearable technology that gives them the ability to communicate what pitch to throw next in an effort to minimize sign stealing and speed the pace of play.
In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throws the ball to the catcher in an attempt to strike out the batter, and the new technology by “PitchCom” equips the catcher with an electronic transmitter on his wrist that has a button for each potential pitch and its location.
Upon pressing the button, information is then passed to a receiver worn inside the pitchers cap, in the process announcing in his ear what to throw, it can be a fastball, curveball, slider or any other potential offering.
Chris Marinak, the Chief Strategy and Operations Officer for Major League Baseball (MLB), a professional baseball organization and the oldest major professional sports league in the world, while unveiling the new technological move, said a number of clubs have embraced the technology during Spring Training.
In his words:
“What we’ve seen so far is it really improves the pace of play because the pitcher can get the sign before he steps back on the rubber and is ready to throw”.
“They can get the sign when they catch the ball and are walking back to the mound. They can hear the pitch earlier so they can start thinking about the next pitch”, he said.
The baseball organization says with the introduction of the technology, sign-stealing which the Houston Astros did in a 2017 World Series Championship will be prevented. Sign-Stealing is a method by which signs being given to the opposing catcher is illegally relayed to the pitcher or from a coach to a base runner.
“Overall it has been a really big positive in terms of having runners on base and not worrying about other teams picking up your signs,” Marinak said.
“I’m not sure every team will use it. I think it’s a personal preference kind of thing, and it’s certainly not mandated.
“But it will be available for use during the season and post-season, which we think will be a really big positive when it comes to the pace of the game.”