Major League Baseball probes potential use of smartwatch by Diamondbacks coach

Diamondbacks deny using electronic device to steal signs vs. Rockies

Diamondbacks deny using electronic device to steal signs vs. Rockies

The league is investigating the potential use of a smartwatch by Arizona Diamondbacks coach/translator Ariel Prieto during Wednesday's National League wild-card game against the Colorado Rockies, according to the New York Post. MLB found no evidence that Mr. Prieto used the Apple Watch or cell phone for any goal in the dugout, nor any baseball-related communication on either device, during Wednesday's game.

However, the Diamondbacks on Thursday afternoon said that the watch worn by Ariel Prieto was not used to gain an unfair advantage during Arizona's 11-8 victory. They'll take care of it. I wasn't doing anything. He said he knows having the phone during the game violated MLB's rules.

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Prieto apologized to the team after the issue bubbled up Thursday, and manager Torey Lovullo called it an "honest mistake" on the coach's part.

Wednesday's incident occurred three weeks after Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed that the Boston Red Sox used electronic communication from the dugout, as well as video cameras, to steal opponents' signs and relay them to Boston players during games.

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All dugouts are under increased scrutiny after Major League Baseball determined the Red Sox employed an Apple Watch worn by an assistant trainer in a sign-stealing scheme during games against the Yankees this summer. The Red Sox admitted the wrongdoing to investigators.

Manfred said every team had been told that "future violations of this type will be subject to more serious sanctions, including the possible loss of draft picks".

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Prieto is a former pitcher for the Oakland Athletics and the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Dodgers host the Diamondbacks in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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