PitchCom is a program that aims to stop MLB’s potential sign-stealers. It has mostly won over the skepticals

Texas RangersGet closer Joe BarlowPitchCom was a new concept to me.

Barlow wondered what could go sour with this electronic device which transmits pitch signals between the pitcher and the catcher in an attempt to curb sign theft. His hat was less comfortable because of the PitchCom's speaker. The catchers were concerned that hitters could hear the signals from their helmets. Players were concerned about radio connectivity issues and what would happen if there was too much noise. Barlow was pleasantly surprised by the device's potential.

Barlow described his initial impressions of the device as “larger than I expected.” “But I was like ‘Put that in my hat.' In the past, you were asked if your stuff was not on and if they are tipping your pitches. If you get hit around, you'll know it's all on your shoulders.

Since more than a century, pitchers have received signs from Cy Young. Max ScherzerThe catcher will perform a series of finger movements. The 2022 season saw MLB digitize the experience, giving backstops a remote control to use on their wrists, and pitchers a speaker to communicate the signals. This could be an additional layer of protection against sign-stealing. Although the theft of signs is a long-standing part of the game's culture it has become a major issue. Recently, however, there have been several cases where teams misuse technology to their advantage. Most notably, it was the case with the Toronto Blue Jays. Houston AstrosTheir infamous trash can banging scandal

Barlow's transition from PitchCom skeptical to fan mirrors the experiences of many teams in baseball. Each pitcher on teams such as the Rangers is New York YankeesESPN has now adopted it. They cite competitive advantages, a quicker pace of play and reduced anxiety at the mound as reasons to use it.

Yankees reliever said, “We all love that.” Michael King. “We really want the catchers giving us signs faster. It's something we're considering, as if he throws it back to us. I'd prefer to know it then. It allows you to take your time and think about the pitch before you throw it. I know that the catcher has a different mindset than I do.

The benefit extends to catchers and pitchers as well. Each team has three additional earpieces, which can be used by any combination of the shortstop, second baseman, and third baseman. Rangers utility man Brad MillerHe said that he used to read the signs from the catcher to prepare for plays. However, using PitchCom allows him to quickly predict where the ball might land.

Miller explained that it used to be possible to miss signs if one wasn't paying attention. It's much easier to be there for every pitch, such as “Hey! Aaron JudgeIf it's a fastball you can be sure it's going one way, and if a curveball is going the opposite way. It has a soft focus. We made it a common comment among pitchers and fielders that if you don't use it, it's impossible to believe. What are your thoughts?

While some players and teams embrace the new technology with enthusiasm, others prefer to keep it traditional. While some of his teammates have embraced new technology, others have chosen to keep their traditions. Chicago White SoxPitchCom is now available to relievers and teammates. Kendall GravemanIt remains a stubborn holdout.

“It may one day come when I use it.” Graveman stated that he isn't ruling it out. “I believe that if one is able and willing to make changes to the signs and be creative you can do it in the old way. That's what I try to do. It will improve and become cleaner, and it has already. It was slow when I tried it out at spring training. I want the rubber to do what I want when I step on it. Since then, I haven’t tried it again.”

Toronto Blue JaysThe pitcher Alek ManoahHe said that he will never use PitchCom.

Manoah stated, “Baseball's baseball, man.” Although technology can make things easier, I am not here to speed up the game. I'm here for the win. I won't sit around and get confused about PitchComs or have hitters come out of the box every 2 seconds because the pace is too fast.

ESPN interviewed Graveman, Manoah and other players about PitchCom. However, the technology has room for improvement. Blue Jays catcher Zack CollinsAccording to some, the device may have problems switching between pitchers with different arsenals.

Collins stated that there are not many kinks but Collins suggested it would be great to tailor the buttons towards the man on the mound in order to work faster. “The buttons have curveball, fastball slider, curveball, change up, knuckleball, splitter, and most people don't throw any knuckleballs.”

Miller thinks that PitchCom could be spiced up. While players are generally satisfied with the way PitchCom works, Miller feels the voice of the front office member on the machine needs more flavor. Rangers' PitchCom is a combination of the voice of a front-office member and the voices of the Rangers. Philadelphia PhilliesUse a catcher J.T. RealmutoMiller suggested more variety to's voice.

Miller stated, “We really do need some guests.” “We had George W. Bush drop by the other night. He should do PitchCom voices like a celebrity GPS. Denzel Washington should be traded to the Dodgers. This is the next step.

This story was contributed by Jesse Rogers, ESPN.

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