One of the biggest additions of the offseason for the Mariners wasn't a player
The Trajekt machine is revolutionizing the way teams think about training and preparation for competition. Seattle now owns two machines, and they are even more amazing than you can imagine.
The Mariners have made many significant additions over the past 9 months, including the acquisitions of Luis Castillo and Teoscar Hernández. However, one of the biggest acquisitions for Seattle is not a player.
Last July the Mariners welcomed in a new training tool, a pitching robot made by Trajekt. This machine allows the Mariners to face any pitcher in major league baseball at his exact spin rates and velocities.
The machine, called the Trajekt Arc, uses a delivery method with a small opening in a black, video-like screen. A pitcher will appear on the screen and go through a delivery, delivering a pitch with a miss radius of 6-8 inches.
The machine was installed in T Mobile Park last summer during the All-Star Break, and a second unit was put in the Peoria Sports Complex for use this Spring. Many of the players on the big league roster were able to use the technology during the second half of last season.
Now this Spring, the club has used the machine already to its advantage. Want to face this afternoon’s starter in the cage before the game? This technology allows hitters to do just that.
In addition to physically seeing the pitcher go through his windup and delivery, the pitch also comes in with 3D spin. This action allows the replication of any major league pitch, to the exact spin rate of the offering.
For example, before the February 28th game against the Guardians the Mariners’ hitters got a chance to hit off of starter Logan Allen that morning. Getting to see a pitcher as many times as desired before the first pitch is a huge advantage, one that just seven MLB teams currently have.
The Mariners are one of these teams, and their players have been just as impressed with the machine as I was. Players such as Cal Raleigh and Ty France love the machine and all the potential uses.
Both players think it is an extremely valuable tool even if they aren’t always swinging off of it. It can also be used to track pitches and get a feel for a certain pitch and how it looks in the batter’s box.
While not every player likes hitting off a machine, the ability to get a visual on a pitcher you haven’t yet faced is huge. Jarred Kelenic mentioned in an interview with 710 Seattle Sports that he sees himself using the machine a lot, especially against pitchers he hasn’t faced much.
Trajekt could also be very helpful for players looking to get a head start on seeing a reliever they will likely see in a series, not just starting pitchers.
Seattle has loaded players like Justin Verlander and Shohei Ohtani into the program already this spring, mainly to get a look at their tough fastballs. Any advantage you can get over an opponent is a huge one, and it wasn’t cheap.
The price isn’t available to the public, but it is large and prohibitive to college programs that may want to use it. This technology was a huge addition for the Mariners, one that Seattle hopes will pay off in a big way.