New technology is changing the game for Reds

"PitchCom" is changing baseball is more ways than one
Reds Braves Baseball
Posted at 12:41 AM, Apr 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-15 01:07:46-04

CINCINNATI — A major, long-standing issue in baseball is "sign stealing".

When a base-runner is at second base, he has a clear line of sight at the catcher's pitch signals; but that may now be an issue of the past.

"We used it in some games, and I think the pitchers seemed to enjoy it," said Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson.

Stephenson is one of many major league catchers who is wearing a new wristband device, called "PitchCom".

This is the first season the new technology has been used in Major League Baseball.

"Our players loved it, so it was an easy decision for me to start really liking the idea of it," said Reds manager David Bell.

The device has buttons on it, which represent types of pitches.

"After playing with it for a little bit, it was easy to do," said Stephenson.

When the catcher presses a button, the device transmits a voice to a headset, worn by the pitcher. The voice tells the pitcher what pitch to throw, and also specifies location.

"It's Morgan Freeman's voice," joked Reds pitcher Hunter Greene.

The voice is generic, but the the pitches can be custom-configured.

"It's more of a robot-like, A.I. sound," said Reds pitcher Tony Santillan.

The technology was developed after the Houston Astros' 2017 sign-stealing scandal.

"You don't really have to worry about anything when guys are on second (base)," said Stephenson.

The Reds are one of many major league teams - upwards of 20 - already embracing the new technology.

"Who knows what technology is going to be. I feel like it's changing everyday, but it's a step in the right direction.

It's a step toward the future, and a sign that baseball may never be played the same.