An update to the recent talk of no in-game video for players who were used to being able to check out their swing mid-game and make adjustments: it’s coming back, but not this year.
Javy Báez was the guy who teed it up for folks that it isn’t just that players can’t go into the video room this year during games, it’s that they don’t have access to ANY in-game video this year – not on their tablets or in a different communal space – a stark change from years past. You couple that with Báez’s deep struggles, and it does make you wonder whether there has been an impact. I don’t think anyone could or would say it’s *the* reason for Báez’s struggles, but it was obviously a significant enough change that Báez publicly beefed about it.
Unfortunately for Báez and other players who are upset, the video is not coming back this season. I’m going to assume there wasn’t a way to make the tech happen quickly enough. But, according to Ken Rosenthal, it will be back next year:
We’ve heard from hitters, most notably the Red Sox’s J.D. Martinez and Cubs’ Javier Báez, who say they are out of sorts due to the restrictions on players using communal video terminals during games in 2020. But some pitchers miss the in-game video, too. Max Scherzer, for example, likes to check video on certain pitches between innings, and usually takes a more thorough look as soon as he comes out of a start.
The temporary ban on in-game video is a health and safety measure so players do not gather around the same video station. Players were given iPads, but those can be loaded with video only before and after games, not during them. MLB is expected in 2021 to introduce a system in which players can access video on those iPads during games, but with the signs edited out to prevent illegal sign-stealing.
Like I said, I guess it wasn’t possible to implement this, technologically speaking, for this season? In any case, players who are adjusting this year without video – and those who are adjusting to adjusting without video – will be able to return to their normal ways in 2021. In theory, it takes one concern off the table as far as thinking ahead to Cubs player performance next year.