What Are The Rays Doing?
This technology comes in the form of an advanced camera system, which the Rays will be using to ensure the health of their pitchers by making sure that their throwing mechanics are consistent and proper with each pitch. The cameras will capture the motion of Rays pitchers, measuring the angles at which their bones and joints move to prevent unnatural motions that can put the players at risk for injury.
Known as Kinatrax, this system will prove its value throughout the season, but will do so even more late in the year when pitchers are battling the fatigue that hundreds of innings of stress can put on their arms. It will be interesting to compare the rate of injury for Rays pitchers to the rest of Major League Baseball in the coming years, to see if this technology truly has had an impact.
What Else Can Kinatrax Do?
And the Rays organization is hopeful that Kinatrax will do even more than read the angles of bones and joints going forward, hence their investment in the technology. It has been said that future versions of the software will allow teams to analyze not just angles, but the actual amount of pressure being applied to bones and joints with each movement, which will let teams like Tampa Bay know exactly how much of an injury risk each player is carrying due to imperfect form.
This has the potential to be a huge advantage for the Rays, as they will have insight as to which players need rest from putting too much pressure on their elbow ligaments before they injure themselves and are forced to get the more and more prevalent Tommy John Surgery.
Are There Other Benefits To Kinatrax?
Beyond the injury prevention aspect of Kinatrax, the Rays should be able to analyze the pitching motions of their pitchers more effectively than any team in Major League Baseball thanks to this technology. This will give them the opportunity to correct mistakes to enable their pitchers to work more efficiently and effectively in each of their appearances. It will be interesting to monitor not just the health of Tampa Bay’s pitchers, but their ERA and other vital statistics to see if Kinatrax is benefiting them beyond just making sure that nobody gets hurt.
Whether it works or not, Kinatrax technology shows that some Major League Baseball are willing to make changes to traditional practices in order to improve their chances of winning. Surely the baseball community will be watching their pitching staff intently to see if this idea is all hype, or worthy of pursuing for other clubs.]]>