Seattle Mariners Use Technology And Stuff To Fight Travel Fatigue


We all saw the uncomfortable Chevrolet guy after the World Series. We all heard him say “Technology and stuff” when describing all the latest features on the Chevy Colorado. I only bring this up because the Seattle Mariners are using the latest “Technology and stuff” on road trips.

Matt Hickey recently wrote on that the Mariners are using a med-tracking wearable made by Fatigue Science, a Seattle-area company.

Hickey makes reference to a blog post by Fatigue Science co-founder Pat Byrne in which he says:

"“Major League Baseball teams are known for having some of the most grueling game and travel schedules. And West Coast teams in any league often suffer the most from the effects of time-zone changes when traveling for games. For this reason, we are really excited to bring the Mariners on board and show them how our technology can help find ways to measure and minimize the impact of both on their players.”"

In 2014, the Mariners traveled more miles (51,540) than any other team in Major League Baseball. That’s even more than the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks who traveled to Australia to start the season.

So to help combat the effects of travel fatigue or jet-lag, the Mariners use these devices called Redibands to track the sleep cycles of the players. The data can then be grouped together to get several different types of averages.

When you combine this data with standard MLB stats and advanced sabermetrics, patterns start to emerge. The coaching staff can then use these patterns to tweak travel plans for the team to both minimize fatigue and maximize rest.

Ever wonder why Dustin Ackley got a day off the night after going 3-for-4? Or perhaps why one night, Stefen Romero would get the start in place of James Jones with a righty on the mound? Could be that the staff saw something in the patterns that amounted to a player needing to get more rest.

There is no arguing that this team was a better on-the-field product in 2014 than they were in 2013. The presence of Robinson Cano in the lineup, an All-Star emergence of Kyle Seager and dominating pitching went a long way in the 16-game improvement of a year ago.

But there could be a measure of success attributed to these wrist devices as well. It’s probably only a matter of time before other teams start implementing the use of these tools. But in the meantime, it’s nice to see that the Mariners are literally trying just about anything to get an edge.