The days of an MLB umpire calling balls and strikes may be coming to an end much sooner than people think.
According to multiple sources, "All AAA parks to have robot umpires in '23" was the story of the day yesterday and truly was the leap in the direction of bringing robotic umpires to the big leagues.
This is something that has been brought up time and time again by fans and individuals in baseball about something that may be needed; however, how much a robotic umpire will affect the game is one of the big questions surrounding something that is still new to some people.
While it may create less error in terms of the calls made behind the dish, resulting in a better rate of correct calls, there is one big key, and that is that it does change the strategy and decision-making between a catcher and pitcher.
By introducing an automated balls and strikes system, which people are referring to as the "robo ump," it changes the dynamic of pitching. Will fewer players take risks by trying to hit the corner of the plate with the possibility of it being a ball? These are interesting points of discussion that can be brought up when discussing the possibility of the MLB using a system like this.
Although there have been errors from time to time with the system, it has improved over the past few years as leagues such as the Atlantic League and even the Low-A Southeast League (aka Florida State League) have shown.
As someone who works for a team in the FSL, I have seen how effective it has been and how it can be a positive for the game in some aspects.
While this has shown improvement and will gain more high-level experience at the Triple-A level, there is still some work to be done with the "robo umps" in the big leagues.
This is something that fans should expect to see at some point down the road during spring training as a testing opportunity, but the question will be, in what ways or how will the MLB want to implement it?
That can be another interesting topic of discussion going into this as well, and "robo umps" could be something that is used when needed in the MLB, not for a full season.
For traditionalists, we love the human error side of umpires calling balls and strikes, but will the technology and mostly accurate robo-umpire takeover be something that will not only affect the Rays but the entire league? That is something to keep an eye on.