Major League Baseball is testing its ROBOT UMPIRES in the Minors, and the system launched on Wednesday night in the Atlantic League.

The automated ball-strike system, or ABS, is being called ‘TrackMan.’  There aren’t actually any robots, sadly . . . all the human umpires are still there.  The only difference is the guy behind the plate signals what the computer TELLS him to.

ABS involves radar and cameras that create a personal strike zone for each hitter, based on their height and stance.  The umpire has a smartphone with an earpiece, and once he hears from the computer, he makes the call.

He can override the system . . . in case there’s a check swing, some kind of technical glitch or weird circumstance.

On the first night, there was a problem where the system went down for a half-inning, and the umpire made the calls himself.  But generally, it worked without any controversy.

Obviously, there are kinks that need to be ironed out . . . like awkwardly delayed calls.  There’s no timetable for when they might come to the Majors.

(Washington Post)