Starting Thursday, 'robot umpire' to be used during Atlantic League regular-season games
- Starting Thursday, the "robot ump" will be used in the Atlantic League regular season.
- The Automated Ball-Strike System will call balls and strikes.
- The "robot ump" made its debut during the Atlantic League All-Star Game in York.
The "robot umpire" is coming to Atlantic League regular-season games.
The league announced Tuesday that the Automated Ball-Strike System, commonly known as a "robot umpire," will call balls and strikes for the remainder of the 2019 season, starting on Thursday at games hosted by the High Point Rockers, Lancaster Barnstormers and Long Island Ducks.
The "robot umpire," using TrackMan software, made its debut during the Atlantic League All-Star Game at PeoplesBank Park in York on July 10.
“This is a landmark day for the Atlantic League and professional baseball,” said Atlantic League President Rick White in a news release. “After successfully unveiling the ABS at our All-Star Game in York, Pa., and following positive feedback from managers, players, umpires and fans, we are eager to implement the consistent strike zone accuracy offered by ABS technology.”
Throughout the second half of the Atlantic League season, home plate umpires will be assisted calling balls and strikes by the ABS, which utilizes Doppler radar technology.
Umpires will use their judgment for limited ball-strike issues, such as check swings, while continuing to perform their other normal duties.
The use of ABS is part of the three-year partnership between MLB and the Atlantic League, which tests experimental playing rules and equipment initiatives throughout the Atlantic League season.
The ABS system will be used during a York Revolution regular-season home game for the first time on Friday against the New Britain Bees. That game is set for a 6:30 p.m. start at PeoplesBank Park.
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