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#pounditFriday, July 1, 2022

Report: MLB exploring on-field technology options to reduce sign stealing

Major League Baseball is reportedly working on significant steps to cut down on sign stealing, and that involves exploration of new technologies.

According to Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports, MLB is working on new on-field technology to allow pitchers and catchers to communicate, and plans to start soliciting player opinions during spring training.

Among the prototypes in development are wearable random number generators that would correspond to relevant signs. There is also consideration of giving catchers a control pad to trigger a light within the mound visible only to the pitcher. The league is also mulling a way to grant coaches the ability to call pitches from within the dugout. Having pitchers and catchers wear earpieces has been discussed, but minor league pitchers who tested them did not like them, citing discomfort and distraction.

While these were clearly in development prior to the allegations against the Houston Astros, that story has brought them to the forefront and potentially accelerated the efforts. MLB has hinted that they will come down hard on Houston if they’re found to have used technology to steal signs, but the league also clearly wants to prevent this from becoming an issue again.

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