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Padres, PLNU unveil new world-class biomechanics lab

Padres pitcher Daniel Camarena works out at PLNU biomechanics lab
Posted at 6:20 PM, Feb 05, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Point Loma Nazarene University and the Padres officially cut the ribbon Monday on its new, world-class biomechanics lab on the school's Kearny Mesa campus.

“We’re going to be able to leverage and get some real gains and competitive advantages, but in terms of larger baseball in San Diego, I think it’s going to be a jewel and an opportunity for growth in that area, as well," Padres Assistant General Manager Josh Stein told ABC 10News.

While in the past, the Padres have sent players to third-party companies that do sports-based biometric research, the organization will now have year-round access to a facility in its own backyard. And the new lab goes beyond the data the team can create at its own practice facilities.

“I think this technology is beautiful," said Padres star Yu Darvish, who attended the ribbon cutting. "As a pitcher, you’re able to get this data instantly as you throw it, so as a pitcher, in order to improve, you can’t ask for more, I think.”

The lab will also be a training ground for PLNU students who will be able to work directly with Padres players. They'll gather and pass the data to the Padres, whose coaches and front office team will break down and translate the reports for the players. “It goes from a complex thesis to eventually one thing that the guy is working on on the mound," explained Padres pitching coach Ruben Niebla.

“Once you get past the amazing awestruck, starstruck moment of meeting them, you get into the nitty-gritty of the details of whatever they are able to do from a biometrics standpoint," said grad student Stefanie Vidaurri.

The Padres will not be the only ones using the lab. The university plans to give access to other athletes, including possibly local high schools. It provides the PLNU students with more participants for research, and all athletes can benefit from advanced studies of their performance.

The applications also go beyond sports. Vidaurri says they have already partnered with the San Diego Sheriff's Department to use the lab to create biomechanical data to help improve deputies' physical performance and rehabilitation from injuries.