Cubs Not Yet Among the Teams Using PitchCom Devices (UPDATE: They’ve Now Tried It)

If you are a huge nerd and have been watching for it, you’ve noticed that the Chicago Cubs are not among the teams using the PitchCom system quite yet. (SEE UPDATE BELOW.)

The electronic system for calling pitches allows the catcher to press a button on his wrist to call a pitch, which is relayed to the pitcher through a listening device in his cap. The system is much faster than the hand signal approach with runners on base, eliminates the risk of cross-ups, and also eliminates the possibility of sign-stealing. In short: every team should be using it as soon as practicable.

So why aren’t the Cubs yet? NBC Sports Chicago spoke with pitching coach Tommy Hottovy, and he explained that the CubsĀ are working with it and are “close” to deploying in real games. But with the abbreviated Spring Training and this being an entirely new system, the pitchers and catchers didn’t want to rush things. Moreover, not every pitcher-catcher combo is comfortable with the system, so it’s possible we won’t see it used for everyone, even when it starts getting implemented in games.

To reiterate, though, once you DO have comfort with it, there’s no downside. Even if the system malfunctions or whatever, you go back to hand signs for the time being. And when it does work, you are better able to move at your preferred pace, without signal cross-ups, and without the opponent having a chance to steal signs. It’s win-win-win.

Hopefully we’ll see it out there soon for the Cubs.

UPDATE: Sure enough, soon after Hottovy said they hadn’t used it yet, the Cubs did give PitchCom a spin in a game this weekend and then again last night:

Contreras’s main concerns are just making sure the pitcher can actually hear the call when the crowd gets loud, and then getting enough comfort and familiarity with the system that it goes smoothly with all pitchers. Trying it out in real games seems like the right step in that direction, and I’m really happy to hear it. Remember, the long-term outcome here is a system that makes stealing your signs impossible, makes cross-ups virtually impossible, and will keep things moving at the pace the catcher and the pitcher want.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

more cubs news

Obsessive Cody Bellinger Watch: “Increasingly Difficult to Believe” All Four Top Boras Free Agents Will Get Big Money

After yesterday's comments from Bob Nightengale that suggested he believes the Cubs are the only serious suitor at this moment for Cody Bellinger (and thus, if try, they would be right to hold the line and not bid themselves up),...

Jordan Wicks to Start Cubs Cactus League Opener on Friday

As they often seem to, the Chicago Cubs will give the first Spring Training start to someone in consideration for the opening week rotation, but not yet locked in. Many of the locked in starting pitchers will make their spring...

WATCH: Shota Imanaga Versus Seiya Suzuki

This is what early Spring Training is for, man. Completely meaningless, but fun, at bats between teammates. In this instance, it's Japanese star outfielder Seiya Suzuki facing Japanese ace lefty Shota Imanaga. I have really wanted to see this, and...

Doesn’t Sound Like the Cubs Plan to Go Over the Luxury Tax Before the Season Begins

To all the hopeful fans and breathless punditry who've thought the Cubs were going to go nuts in the waning hours of the offseason, I think you are in for a disappointment. If Cubs owner Tom Ricketts' comments this week...

Rafael Devers Does Not Sound Happy About His Team’s Soft Offseason

Last offseason, Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers broke some hearts by signing a long-term extension with his team, just a year before he otherwise would've hit free agency as a 27-year-old, big-lefty-bat, star third baseman. That would've been...

Eric Hosmer is Hanging ‘Em Up

Eric Hosmer's time with the Chicago Cubs early last season, it turns out, was the end of his big league career. Hosmer, who was released by the Cubs in mid-May after hitting just .234/.280/.330/67 wRC+, never did catch on with...

Nick Madrigal Already Helping Christopher Morel Work at Third Base

I don't think it's a secret that everyone associated with the Cubs, from the front office to the coaching staff to the fans, would love to see Christopher Morel become an average or better defensive third baseman. As we discussed...

Rosario Signs, Rays Extremely Crowded Infield, Nico Power, and Other Cubs Bullets

Will somebody please sign Joey Votto soon? We are unquestionably missing out on a lot of great, entertaining stuff by virtue of him not being in camp with some team. There was a time not so long ago when Amed...

Obsessive Cody Bellinger Watch: Cubs Still the Only Serious Suitor? Parallel in Recent History?

After yesterday was once again dominated by the player who isn't at Chicago Cubs camp, there was much less focus today on Cody Bellinger in the discourse. Yesterday you had Cubs owner and chairman Tom Ricketts speaking, which he does...

Are the Cubs Getting Close to Adding an Advertising Patch on Their Jerseys?

As you'll no doubt recall from seeing other clubs making the move over the past couple years, MLB teams are permitted under the latest CBA to add a single advertising patch to their players' uniforms. They are generally on a...

Latest News

How to Watch Wake Forest Demon Deacons vs. Duke Blue Devils: Live Stream or on TV

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons (17-9, 9-6 ACC) will look to build on a 13-game home win streak when they take on the Duke Blue Devils (21-5, 12-3 ACC) on February 24, 2024 at Lawrence Joel Coliseum.In its most recent...

Clemson vs. Florida State: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

ACC action features the Clemson Tigers (18-8, 8-7 ACC) at home against the Florida State Seminoles (14-12, 8-7 ACC) on Saturday, February 24, 2024 at 7:45 PM ET.Clemson won its most recent game against Georgia Tech, 81-57, on Wednesday. Ian...

Murray State vs. Valparaiso: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Valparaiso Beacons (6-22, 2-15 MVC) will try to stop a nine-game losing streak when they visit the Murray State Racers (11-17, 8-9 MVC) on February 24, 2024 at CFSB Center.On Wednesday, in its most recent game, Murray State lost...

Syracuse vs. Notre Dame: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-16, 5-10 ACC) will look to build on a three-game win streak when they visit the Syracuse Orange (17-10, 8-8 ACC) on February 24, 2024 at JMA Wireless Dome.Syracuse was victorious in its most recent...

Lafayette vs. Lehigh: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Lehigh Mountain Hawks (11-15, 8-7 Patriot League) will try to extend a four-game winning streak when they visit the Lafayette Leopards (11-17, 10-5 Patriot League) on February 24, 2024 at Kirby Sports Center. The game airs on ESPN+.Lafayette lost...

UMass vs. Saint Bonaventure: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The UMass Minutemen (17-9, 8-6 A-10) hope to extend a three-game home winning streak when they host the Saint Bonaventure Bonnies (16-10, 7-7 A-10) on February 24, 2024.UMass won its previous game versus VCU, 74-52, on Tuesday. Josh Cohen was...

Rice vs. East Carolina: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Rice Owls (10-16, 4-9 AAC) aim to break a seven-game home losing streak when they host the East Carolina Pirates (14-12, 7-6 AAC) on February 24, 2024.Rice was victorious in its previous game versus UAB, 94-71, on Wednesday. Mekhi...

How to Watch Florida Gators vs. Vanderbilt Commodores: Live Stream or on TV

The Vanderbilt Commodores (7-19, 2-11 SEC) will look to end an eight-game road losing streak when they visit the Florida Gators (18-8, 8-5 SEC) on February 24, 2024 at Exactech Arena.In its previous game, Florida lost to Alabama on Wednesday,...

Penn State vs. Indiana: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Indiana Hoosiers (14-12, 6-9 Big Ten) will look to break a three-game losing streak when they hit the road to play the Penn State Nittany Lions (13-14, 7-9 Big Ten) on February 24, 2024 at Bryce Jordan Center.In its...

How to Watch St. John’s Red Storm vs. Creighton Bluejays: Live Stream or on TV

The Creighton Bluejays (20-7, 11-5 Big East) will try to extend a four-game win streak when they hit the road to take on the St. John's Red Storm (15-12, 7-9 Big East) on February 25, 2024 at Madison Square Garden.St....

more cubs news