Times are changing, but baseball purists may want to look elsewhere.
Triple-A baseball will implement electronic strike zones for the 2023 season at all 30 stadiums, according to ESPN.
The ABS (Automatic Balls and Strikes) system will be used in two ways: half of the games will be strictly canceled according to the system, while the teams in the other half will be able to challenge the referee’s decision and the system will make the final decision. .
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In games where challenges will be allowed, both teams will each get three and keep each successful challenge. ESPN notes.
Major League Baseball will use the data and feedback from both systems for its future decisions on bringing ABS to the Major League level.
The Independent Atlantic League was the first to use the ABS system during its All-Star Game in 2019. The Arizona Fall League also used the system that same year. Since then, it has spread to all levels of minor league baseball, but this will be the first time it has been used throughout Triple-A after its partial use last season.
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Early feedback from «robotic umpires» has been positive, but there are still complaints: if a game is called strictly electronically, a catcher’s art of framing is essentially lost and much of a plate umpire’s job is gone. over there. .
According to T-Bones BaseballMLB reported a lost call percentage of 14.7 on balls and strikes.
MLB will introduce a shot clock this season to increase the speed of the game (although there is already a rule for when you must turn in a pitcher). The league has also limited the use of innings, ruling that two infielders must be on both sides of the dirt. There will also be larger bases this season, as well as a cap on pick moves.
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According to Statista, the average length of a baseball game is three hours and three minutes. The average duration of a game has been at least three hours in each of the last seven years and eight of the last nine. Before, I had never been in that number.