Atlantic League umpires say computerized strike zone not ready for MLB
Major League Baseball will begin testing a computerized strike zone during spring training this season, but those most familiar with the system believe it isn’t close to being ready for use in MLB games.
Strike zone technology has been tested in the independent Atlantic League, and that technology will be tested this spring at the MLB level. Atlantic League umpires, however, told Bob Klapisch of the New York Times that the system simply is not ready for meaningful competition.
After experimenting in 2019 with ball-strike motion sensors, Atlantic League umpires tell me the technology isn’t ready for MLB. Said one: “it was wrong about 20 percent of the time. And some pitches it couldn’t make up its mind. No call either way."
— Bob Klapisch (@BobKlap) January 24, 2020
It’s been suggested that this technology may be in use at the highest levels of the minors as soon as 2021 ahead of its introduction to MLB. Based on this feedback, this may be optimistic. The league will have ample opportunity to test and tweak the technology, but adopting it in MLB before it’s completely perfected and ready would be a massive mistake that would severely undermine any faith in it both inside and outside the game. The spring training testing should be telling in just how close we really are to making this technology a reality in the majors.