Report: MLB players to use anti-sign-stealing technology on field originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
It’s a sign of things to come in baseball.
Amid sign-stealing controversies in the sport, Major League Baseball reportedly will give pitchers and catchers the option to wear electronic devices on the field that transmits pitch signals during the 2022 regular season, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
PitchCom includes a pad with buttons that will be worn on a forearm sleeve of the catcher’s gloved hand to send pitch type and location to the pitcher via a listening device.
Five players per team, including the pitcher and catcher, are permitted to use the audio receivers, which are worn in the caps of pitchers and fielders (helmet for catchers) and transmitted in English and Spanish over an encrypted channel.
The PitchCom website describes the device as the ultimate convert communication system with a “push-button, player-wearable transmitter that allows players on the field to communicate plays to each other without using physical signs or verbal communication.”
It was first tested at the Single-A level last season, aiming to prevent sign stealing while also improving the pace of play. Major league teams began experimenting with PitchCom during spring training.
Pitchers and catchers still have the option of using the traditional pitch-calling method of the catches using his fingers to flash a combination of signs to the pitcher.
The decision to permit technology for use in on-field signal-calling comes in the wake of the Houston Astros having been reprimanded for using a sign-stealing system during their World Series championship season in 2017.