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MLB has approved the use of Pitchcom anti-sign-stealing tech for 2022 season

Jason Burgos

In the upcoming MLB season, pitchers and catchers will get the chance to fight back against sign-stealing with Pitchcom, an advanced technology that seems like something out of a science fiction movie.

The last month in Major League Baseball has been pretty wild. It wasn’t that long ago that the players association and league owners were in a bitter fight for revenue sharing percentages as they hammered out a new league collective bargaining agreement.

Once cooler heads finally prevailed, and a lost season was avoided, teams jumped right into an abbreviated spring training that coincided with a fairly busy back half of MLB free agency. The news and player movement has kept the league and team executives pretty busy. However, despite the frenzy of the last month, the league found time to institute a new strategy built to combat one of the biggest scandals of recent MLB history in sign-stealing.

MLB battles sign-stealing with Pitchcom

mlb, pitchcom
Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, ESPN reported that the league is expected to formally allow teams to make use of their new Pitchcom technology during upcoming regular-season games. The anti-sign-stealing tech was introduced during this year’s spring training and has received rave reviews from the few players that used it during in-game competition.

Related: Projecting the standings and award winners for the 2022 MLB season

For those just reading about Pitchcom for the first time, the software is a pad, with buttons, on the wrist of the catcher’s gloved hand. The catcher can signal pitch type and location directly to the pitcher through a listening device. As many as three teammates on the field will also have access to the Pitchcom signs, aiding fielders in defensive positioning choices.

New York Yankees battery combo Louis Severino and Kyle Higashioka made use of the tech this spring, with the veteran pitcher glowing about its usefulness.

“I think it was great. I was a little doubtful at the beginning, but when we started using it, it was really good — with a man on second, too,” Severino told reporters at the time. “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.”

Pitchcom is a direct reaction to the sign-stealing scandals that have dogged the league over the last decade. The most prominent of those came during the 2017 World Series when the Houston Astros were found to have used a sophisticated stealing system to aid them in their championship win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The scandal led to the suspension and then firing of Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch. Bench coach Alex Cora also resigned after the investigation’s findings. He led the Red Sox to a World Series victory in 2018 as their head coach.