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Robot Umpires at Home Plate Moving Up to Triple-A for 2022


 The Atlantic League is returning strike zone judgement to umpires, after experimenting with an automatic ball-strike system.

In this July 10, 2019, file photo, Ron Besaw, right, operates a laptop computer as home plate umpire Brian deBrauwere gets signals from radar with the ball and strikes calls during the fourth inning of the Atlantic League All-Star minor league baseball ga

Credit: Julio Cortez/AP

Major League Baseball (MLB) is extending its automated strike zone test to Triple-A, the highest minor-league level, for 2022, posting a hiring notice on its Website for Automated Ball and Strike (ABS) system operators.

The independent Atlantic League experimented with ABS during the second half of the 2019 season, and was the first U.S. professional league to allow a computer to call balls and strikes at its All-Star Game that year.

"It's hard to handicap if, when, or how it might be employed at the major league level, because it is a pretty substantial difference from the way the game is called today," said MLB's Chris Marinak in March 2021.

MLB said the robot umpires will be employed at some spring training ballparks in Florida, stay at Low A Southeast, and could find use at non-MLB venues.

From Associated Press
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