Sunday, May 1, 2016

Wearable Technology in Baseball

         Major League Baseball has officially approved two devices to help pitchers manage coming back from injuries.  Motus baseball sleeve measures the stress on the pitchers elbow, while the Zephyr bioharness monitors breathing and heart rates.  This technology will not only help players to have better recovery from injury but also will help players avoid injury going forward.  This technology will allow coaches and trainers to further understand what techniques contribute to certain injuries and will help prevent these injuries.  This Motus technology works by examining how pitchers throw each pitch and gives them a percentage based upon how hard they throw.  Furthermore, this will help to have players not work as hard as they can when coming back from major injuries such as post Tommy John surgery.  The Zephyr technology will allow teams to see how hard their players are working and examine how each player plays the game.  This is specifically important because one big thing in baseball today is limiting stressful innings for pitchers.  A stressful inning can be defined as an inning where there are multiple players on base or multiple runs scored.  This technology will place a certain number on how stressful and how hard they work during each inning.  

         The rules that the Major League’s committee has set are that players must be the ones that choose to wear the sleeve.  This protects players from not getting put into a spot by their team that will harm their careers or contracts.  Currently, the teams are allowed to iPads without Bluetooth connectivity, so they cannot view the numbers during the game.  These teams are allowed to use the data for internal reasons and all the numbers will be shared with the players and the players will decide who is allowed to see the data. 

          Team doctors have already began using this technology while working with New York Mets pitcher Zach Wheeler while he has been recovering from tearing his UCL.  The team has said that by determining how hard he is working they can have him limit the percent he works and it will allow him to have a more effective recovery.  This technology marks the first wearable technology in Major League Baseball and will help to keep players on the field.  Motus and Zephyr are actively working to help players and teams decrease the increasing number of Tommy John surgeries that are occurring in the league.  By combining these technologies baseball players will continue to learn more about the game.


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