As baseball continues to deal with the fallout from the use of technology to steal signs, MLB could be bringing more technology to the game in spring training with the use of robot umpires.
In an interview with FOX Business, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred indicated that fans will see the use of the “so-called robot umpire system” during spring training games this year.
While Manfred didn’t get into specifics during the interview, the news could indicate that MLB will at least test out an electronic strike zone before the season in spring games. It follows reports earlier this offseason that the electronic strike zone was coming to MILB in 2020.
MLB continues to look for ways to enhance the game. The league could also be looking to expand the use of the electronic zones, before bringing it to the majors, after making it part of the new labor agreement with umpires.
The timing of the news is interesting, given the ongoing discussion about the overuse of technology in baseball. However, MLB seems determined to bring more technology to the game and could view an electronic strike zone as a way to speed up the game by decreasing argues over strike zones.