MLB referees agree to help test electronic strike zone, report says

The league’s top referees will soon have a hand in possibly bringing an electronic strike zone to the MLB.

They have agreed to work with MLB to develop and test an automated strike system as part of a new, five-year working agreement, The Associated Press reported Saturday night. The referees also agreed to work with Commissioner Rob Manfred if he decides to apply the technology at the championship level, the AP said, citing anonymous sources familiar with the job negotiations.

MORE: Atlantic Club makes ‘robot umps’ a permanent fixture

MLB began testing the effectiveness of TrackMan technology this year at Arizona’s Fall League parks and the independent Atlantic League. The reviews were mixed, with the most subtle criticism of calls to stadiums in the upper and lower areas of the strike zone.

The AP noted that the MLB is discussing whether to install the technology in the Single-A Florida State League parks in 2020 and then in the Triple-A parks in 2021 if the FSL experiment succeeds.

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