Even as baseball cracks down on things like sticky substances, teams continue to look for ways to get an edge.
Apparently, facial recognition software is helping.
There is at least one team in the majors that uses said software to help them identify potential trends from a pitcher. Apparently it works, because Colorado Rockies closer Daniel Bard said on WEEI’s “Bradfo Sho” podcast that he heard an account of his teammate tipping pitches with his face.
“Oh yeah” I’ve heard of it, Bard said. “I don’t know if I had a facial tip, but I heard about a guy on our team. I won’t name names, but another guy that came to our organization this year was like ‘Hey, I was with this other team and we had a facial tip on you – mouth open was a slider, mouth closed was a fastball.
“This was something, literally, that as he was lifting his leg he was making a certain face. I don’t know how a hitter can look at the face, compute that and then adjust to the pitch. It’s amazing to me.”
Determining if someone is tipping their pitches is something teams are constantly searching for, and so far it doesn’t appear MLB considers facial recognition software to be a nefarious way of catching tips.
If it’s within the rules and working though, one has to think it will become increasingly prevalent – even if Bard and other pitchers can’t quite figure out how hitters can compute that info so quickly.