San Francisco Chronicle
Conforto getting high-tech video feedback
New San Francisco Giants outfielder Michael Conforto had a film crew following him on the road a few days ago.
Well, sort of.
It was a very specialized setup: three high-speed cameras at Goodyear Ballpark filmed Conforto playing against Cleveland to get his biometric data in game action, rather than in a studio, where movements aren’t always as natural. In addition, the results are three-dimensional.
Conforto won’t get the results until the coming week, but Bob Keyes, a biometrics expert, has filmed Conforto before — in college, at Oregon State, and again as at Triple-A in 2016, providing a baseline to see how much he has changed post-shoulder surgery. Keyes’ Bio Kinetics Research & Development company calls the frame-by-frame data captured with high-definition, high-speed cameras KineMetrics.
“Your shoulders, your elbows, every joint in your body, you can create a skeleton that shows the way your body’s moving, how your hips are moving, everything,” Conforto said. “Bob wanted to get another video to see where I’m at. It’s cool stuff.”
Conforto was at designated hitter again Saturday against the Diamondbacks but he is slated to play in the outfield this week, depending on how his shoulder feels. Friday he threw to bases from right field, “and it went really well,” he said.
Conforto belted an oppositefield homer to lead off Saturday, manager Gabe Kapler saying it was 108 mph off the bat.
“He drove that ball to left field as well as we ever see a left-handed hitter hit a ball to left here,” Kapler said. “Carrying the wall with no doubt from the left side was really, really impressive, just perfect trajectory. Sometimes your eyes just tell you that looked exactly like you’d dream about it for a left-handed hitter.”
Cobb on the clock: Alex Cobb had the most difficulty with the pitch clock the first time through the rotation, but Sunday he zipped through three innings without incident — and with his burnished slider tumbling, he struck out six while allowing three hits (two of them infield) and one run.
Cobb said he’s been impressed with all four catchers in the battle for the two big league spots, but he especially raved about Roberto Pérez, who caught him Sunday. Instead of using the PitchCom system, Pérez flashed fingers at Cobb and that sped things up; Cobb said they used PitchCom only with men on base.
“Every one of our catchers is elite; Roberto is special,” Cobb said. “He’s done it at the bigleague level, he thinks differently than any other catcher I’ve talked to. He’s fabulous in the way he frames pitches.”
Briefly: Mike Yastrzemski recorded his first hit of the spring, a standup triple, in the second inning of the Giants’ 5-1 loss to the Royals. … New starter Ross Stripling, who was scheduled to leave after the game to go home for the birth of his second child, worked three innings and allowed seven hits and four runs. … Jakob Junis, who will be in the bullpen to start the season, worked two perfect innings with three strikeouts, and Kapler called him the performer of the game. … The Giants don’t have their pitching plans announced for Tuesday’s game against the Reds at Goodyear; Tristan Beck has been working the day after Cobb, Sean Manaea and Anthony DeSclafani both worked Friday.