Taking PitchCom to the Next Level in MLB The Show

MLB The Show 24 has done a good job getting all the new rules and changes into the game that were instituted in the real MLB right before last year’s game came out. This includes having the larger bases, step-off rules, pitch clock, and by extension the implementation of PitchCom between pitcher and catcher.

Now, PitchCom isn’t a rule change it’s more just something that most teams implemented in ’23 after toying with it in 2022. I’ve even seen a couple people on the forums ask what the catcher is doing, so it’s probably worth explaining. PitchCom is an answer to sign stealing. It’s used whether there are people on base or not for the most part, but basically it’s so runners on second base don’t steal signs, and also it just speeds up the game overall. So the catcher has a device on his wrist that he presses, and then the pitcher has an audio device in his hat that gets the signal from the catcher.

(What’s a cool touch of realism is the MiLB teams still have the “old” signals in place as well.)

But on the forums, folks have been thinking about how to take PitchCom to the next level in MLB The Show because it seems like a perfect area to enhance in future versions of the series. Right now, you see what you would expect with the catcher pressing the device on his wrist to signal to the pitcher, and then the pitcher either confirms or shakes off the pitch. It’s accurate but there’s room to make it more engaging.

Ultimately it’s something I wanted to touch on here because it seems rather straight forward and agreed upon how it all would work because, well, it translates well from real life to a video game. We have controllers that can make sounds and have rumble capabilities so we’re good to go.

How it would work is you would get the pitch suggestion through the controller. It’s just a voice that says a pitch and that’s step one. To go beyond that, you could have a button to shake off the pitch or have a rumble in place to indicate when the pitch clock gets near zero.

I’m more interested in this for RTTS in some regards because there’s more you could do here for the catcher as well. One sort of silly suggestion I saw but do understand to some extent is having some sort of rumble notification in place if the pitcher shakes you off. Now, I don’t know what a “head shaking” motion translates to with a controller rumble, but it’s certainly funny to think about and the PS5 controller especially is capable of some amazing things with its rumble features and haptic feedback.

All in all, this feels like one of those “easy” wins for a future version of MLB The Show. There might be some concerns about an overuse of rumble and what that does to your battery life, but obviously all of this would be optional if you’re not interested in something like that. For everyone else, it feels like a way to make the pitching experience a little deeper and more realistic all at once.