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Notes: Workload monitoring devices, Mathisen, Indians

Brian Blanco

-P- This is interesting -- the Pirates are having some players wear some sort of sensor devices to detect their heart rates and how much energy they're consuming.

"It's interesting to see at different points throughout the day how high the heart rate is getting, what kind of workload you are putting on your body," [Travis] Snider said. "You don't realize how fast your heart is going. You are in the moment when you are up there playing. You don't realize you have a 160 or 180 heartbeat going when you step up in the (batter's) box, which is cardio just standing there waiting to hit a baseball.

"You don't think of baseball like football or basketball where you are constantly running, but guys are still burning 2,000–plus calories. Some guys are up over 5,000, 6,000 calories."

I'm guessing this stuff is pretty normal in the sports world and I'm just not familiar with it. I'm also guessing that my use of the phrase "some sort of sensor devices" above marks me as a Luddite. Well, I don't care. I'm typing this on a Hansen Writing Ball. And in my day, we didn't need any "workload monitoring devices." We just walked 18 miles to school uphill in the snow, carrying our lunches in pails. Sometimes people didn't make it. They would just lay down on the icy path and wait for death to take them. They were the weak ones. It's not like we needed some sensor device to tell us, "Johnny burned 8,300 calories and has smallpox." It's no wonder a pitcher can't throw 550 innings a season anymore, or that his catcher has to wear a cuirass.

-P- Wyatt Mathisen is moving to third base. That clears the way for Reese McGuire to catch full-time at West Virginia, but also creates another problem in that Erich Weiss, an overslot player from last year's draft, will likely need time at third base at that level. We'll see how this works out. In the meantime, Mathisen's slide down the defensive spectrum means he'll have to hit a bit more than he would have to remain a prospect.

-P- I wrote about the Cleveland Indians, who are having a pretty Pirate-y offseason.