MLB to allow anti-sign-stealing technology during 2022 season
Major League Baseball will reportedly give pitchers and catchers the option of using newly tested, anti-sign-stealing signaling devices in the upcoming 2022 regular season, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
The device, referred to as PitchCom, is expected to greatly inhibit the chances of a sign stealing scandal, many of which have rocked the sport in recent years. Using a pad with buttons on the wrist of the gloved hand, a catcher will be able to signal pitches directly to a pitcher through a listening device. As many as three other teammates of the pitcher and catcher will also have access to the device to assist in fielding positioning, per Olney.
Yankees pitcher Luis Severino and catcher Kyle Higashioka used PitchCom in a spring training game against the Braves on Saturday and were quite complimentary of the new technology.
“I think it was great,” Severino told reporters, per Olney. “I was a little doubtful at the beginning, but when we started using it, it was really good – with a man on second, too. I would definitely like to use it in my first start [of the regular season]. … You know what pitch you’re going to throw right away.”
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Pitchers and catchers won’t be required to switch over to PitchCom. Players will still have the option of using the traditional method of finger-flashing to suggest a pitch selection.
However, in the wake of the recent sign-stealing debacle involving 2017 World Series champion Astros, a device like PitchCom is sure to garner interest over time. Although there are some concerns that a digital technology could be hacked during a game, one baseball executive reiterated to Olney that the NFL has successfully used signaling devices for years, with quarterbacks wearing helmets with built-in listening devices.
Players will have the option to utilize PitchCom as soon as Thursday on Opening Day of the 2022 regular season.
More MLB Coverage:
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