Automated strike zones will be implemented by Major League Baseball at some minor league ballparks next season, a milestone advancement in “robot umpire” technology.
The demand for technological intervention has risen after a series of questionable umpire calls during the 2019 playoffs.
Baseball purists tend to frown on the idea of automated umpiring, but MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred praised the evolution of the game in an interview with The Athletic:
“I think we need to be ready to use an automated strike zone when the time is right,” Manfred said. “That’s why we experimented in the Atlantic League. It’s why we went to the Arizona Fall League. It’s why we’re using it in Minor League Baseball next year, in some ballparks at least.”