Major League Baseball will begin testing new technology that allows catchers to electronically communicate signals to pitchers at one of the lower minor league levels within the next couple of weeks, a system designed to both quicken the pace of play and suppress illegal sign-stealing methods.
A memo introducing the new system was sent to officials of the eight teams that make up Low-A West on Friday. In it, MLB announced plans to begin testing on August 3 a pitcher-catcher communication device developed by a company called PitchCom.
The system consists of a transmitter that is worn on a catcher's wristband and two receivers that fit within the sweatband of a pitcher's cap and the padding of a catcher's helmet. The transmitter includes nine buttons to signal desired pitch and location and comes preprogrammed with English and Spanish audio tracks. Information is passed from the transmitter to both receivers using an encrypted communication channel and played with bone-conduction technology, the memo stated.
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