Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!
It looks like signs may be sealed and delivered this year via PitchCom, a system that allows catchers to send audio pitch calls from a wrist worn device. Buster Olney at ESPN reported yesterday that MLB sent a memo to teams detailing approved usage of the new devices, which have been tested during Spring Training this year. Primarily designed to prevent sign stealing, the devices apparently may also help improve the pace of games.
The system involves a pad with buttons worn on the catcher’s wrist that sends signals to listening devices worn by the pitcher, catcher (for verification), and up to three other teammates on the field to aid positioning. MLB chief operations and strategy officer Chris Marinak stated that PitchCom eliminates the need for hand signals and that from “what we’ve seen so far, it really improves pace of game.”
The system does have some detractors, but per Olney, reviews have generally been glowing. Yankees pitcher Luis Severino said he would like to use PitchCom in his first start of the season after testing it in a Spring Training game last Saturday. Luddites and traditionalists will be allowed to stick with the old ways this season if they want, but Olney believes widespread adoption is inevitable.
So it’s official! Teams can ditch the hand signs in 2022 and there seems to be little downside to PitchCom, provided the information it transmits remains secure. And if it really improves the pace of games, it will be a nice bonus and one pretty unobtrusive way of accomplishing that aim. I’m very interested to see how quickly the A’s might embrace this solution.
- Hall: Scouting reports: Euribiel Angeles and Adrian Martinez, new A’s prospects
- Hall: A’s free agents: Khris Davis, Mike Fiers head to Mexican League
- Ashford: Spring Training Game #18: A’s tie Giants in Spring Finale
- Kawahara: How will a remade A’s lineup create offense amid a projected drop-off? ($)
- Ostler: A’s counting on Stephen Vogt’s bat, leadership ... and comedy ($)
- Kawahara: A’s James Kaprielian faces hitters in returning from shoulder issue ($)
- Lockard: Oakland A’s 2022 minor-league preview: New talent brings positive energy to a system on the rise ($)
MLB News & Interest:
- Brisbee and Weaver: MLB Preseason Power Rankings: The Dodgers reign, the Blue Jays impress and the Giants perplex ($)
- Olney: MLB to allow pitchers, catchers to use anti-sign-stealing technology during regular season
- The Athletic: MLB 2022 predictions: World Series champ, MVP, CY Young, Rookie of the Year, division champs and more ($)
- Franco: Brewers’ Pedro Severino Suspended 80 Games After Failing PED Test
- Nesbitt, Ghiroli, and Sarris: MLB Hitter Tiers: Top 125 position players ranked in groups from Ronald Acuña Jr. to Mike Yastrzemski ($)
- McDonald: Astros, Ryan Pressly Agree To Extension
- Shea: Tommy La Stella out of Giants’ Cactus League finale, questionable for Opening Day ($)
- Theo Epstein discusses how rule change process could impact the future of baseball ($)
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
El único con 40+JRS y 100+CI en tres temporadas consecutivas con los #Athletics de Oakland, el #Tanquecito Khris Davis se lleva su poder, así como su tradicional saludo, a la Liga Mexicana, como refuerzo de los Diablos Rojos de México en 2022. ⚾️⚾️⚾️. #AcciónXGotas. pic.twitter.com/2TxoKXSITw— manolo hernandez d. (@beisbolporgotas) April 5, 2022
DJ gets the nod for Sunday in Philly ...
Daulton Jefferies is slated to pitch Sunday in Philadelphia, Mark Kotsay confirmed. So A's set to throw Montas, Irvin, Jefferies in their opening series.— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) April 5, 2022
... and he is stoked!
Daulton Jefferies said when Mark Kotsay told him he'll open with the A's: "I just couldn't stop smiling." He said his goal is: "Just to make every start ... I want to be healthy, I want to be consistent and I want to be a guy that Kots knows he can give the ball to at any point."— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) April 5, 2022
Wear Ray on Opening Day for cancer research.
We thought it would be a great gesture to “Wear Ray On Opening Day”. Active now until next Tuesday get 10% off any Ray Tribute gear! Let’s see Ray on opening day! 10 All proceeds benefiting cancer research foundations.— Last Dive Bar (@lastdivebar) April 5, 2022
Link: https://t.co/HV2sxwAyYR pic.twitter.com/0YdfoIMmyg
Melissa will be posting daily updates on the A’s (and some other team’s) top MiLB performers in The Athletic!
With the Triple-A season kicking off today, just a reminder that I will be posting daily updates on @TheAthletic's Real Time feature highlighting the top A's and Giants MiLB performers from the day before. So check back frequently!— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) April 5, 2022
“In my day we had a three man rotation. And we liked it!” ~Grumpy Old Man
With minor league teams now playing 6 games a week with an off day each Monday, the A's minor league teams will all be using 6-man rotations with each starter pitching once a week. Most A's affiliates will also be going with 9-man bullpens and 3 catchers.— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) April 6, 2022
Opening day MiLB rosters.
Check out updated opening day rosters for all the A's affiliates here... https://t.co/joKXkzbDRy— Athletics Farm (@AthleticsFarm) April 6, 2022
Looks like some fine summer reading.
Book recommendation: “Opening Day: 50 for 50,” in which author Mike Ortman chronicles his streak of attending 50 straight Opening Day games in D.C., Baltimore and Chicago. The 1998 chapter features my Opening Day column that year from The Baltimore Sun. https://t.co/BbxNXgk9Jj— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 6, 2022
Remember this guy? He was pretty good for a sec.