PEORIA, Ariz. — Chris Paddack convened with members of his extended family over Christmas and presented them with gifts to ensure they will never be far removed. A few weeks remained in an offseason largely spent in Krum, Texas. Paddack would soon relocate to Arizona for his first big-league spring training, likely to be followed by a deployment to either El Paso or San Diego.

To remedy the distance, Paddack left each of the various households closest to him with a Facebook Portal. The smart-home device’s camera facilitates video chats in high definition, shrinking the physical gap between loved ones.

“I wanted to stay connected a little better this season,” Paddack said. “With text messages, you can only say so much.”

On Thursday morning, the Padres prospect would see another horizon expanded. As he and other pitchers worked through bullpen sessions at the Peoria Sports Complex, ultra-high-speed cameras and radar devices tracked their movements…


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