MLB-Robot umpires will reach Triple-A in 2022

The robot referees They have received a promotion and will be just one step away from the major leagues this season. The MLB is expanding its automated strike zone experiment to Triple-A, the highest level of the minor leagues.

MLB’s website posted a hiring notice seeking seasonal employees to operate the Automated Ball-Strike system. MLB said it is recruiting employees to operate the system for the Albuquerque Isotopes, Charlotte Knights, El Paso Chihuahuas, Las Vegas Aviators, Oklahoma City Dodgers, Reno Aces, Round Rock Express, Sacramento River Cats, Salt Lake Bees, Sugar Land Skeeters and Tacoma. rainy.

The independent Atlantic League became the first American professional league to allow a computer to call balls and strikes at its All-Star Game in July 2019 and experimented with ABS for the second half of that season. The system was also used in the Arizona Fall League for top prospects in 2019, leading to complaints of its calls to break balls.

There were no minor leagues in 2020 due to the pandemic, and robotic umpires were used in eight of the nine Low-A Southeast League stadiums last season.

The Major League Baseball Umpires Association agreed in its labor contract that began in 2020 to cooperate and assist if Commissioner Rob Manfred decides to use the system at the Major League level.

“It’s hard to assess if, when or how it could be used at the major league level, because it’s a pretty substantial difference from what the game is called today,” said Chris Marinak, MLB director of operations and strategy. , last March. .

MLB said the robotic umpires will be used in some spring training stadiums in Florida, will remain in Low A Southeast and could be used in non-MLB venues.

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