PitchCom volume issue gives away Twins pitch calls

Published 7:11 am Friday, March 3, 2023

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — This was a different kind of pitch tipping when Minnesota right-hander Kenta Maeda made only his second spring start in his return from Tommy John surgery two seasons ago.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said the PitchCom device catcher Tony Wolters was using was loud enough for Tampa Bay hitters to hear every pitch that was called. Home plate umpire Brennan Miller heard them all through the wireless system used by pitchers and catchers to communicate.

Maeda still threw two scoreless innings, allowing two hits. He struck out two and walked one in a game held at Tropicana Field.

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“I said nicely done,” Baldelli said. “By the way, something to note, they knew every pitch that was coming.”

Maeda laughed when told by his manager what happened.

Baldelli said the device in Wolters’ ear was projecting significantly louder than normal, and it wasn’t very loud in the domed Tropicana Field with an announced crowd of 2,531. The Rays are hosting most of their spring exhibitions at the Trop because their usual spring complex was damaged by Hurricane Ian.

A conversion with the umpires after the second inning tipped off Baldelli, and adjustments were made to the device.