The idea of automated umpires, a.k.a, robot umps, is something that has been floated around the MLB for several years now.
This kind of technology has been implemented for a test trial in Triple-A baseball, the highest level of minor league baseball. However, many MLB fans have been calling for this change, with an ever-growing number of egregious misses that only continues to become more evident and focused on by fans and media alike.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred discussed the matter during an owners’ meetings press conference and said that he didn’t see the implementation of an automated strike zone “as a competition committee issue for this year.”
Rob Manfred at end-of-owners-meetings press conference said he did not see the automated strike zone "as a competition committee issue for this year." Unless that were to change then, it's not coming to MLB in 2023. (Rule changes go through a newly formed competition committee)
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) June 16, 2022
Unless Manfred or the competition committee change their minds, that means that we will not have “robo-umps” for next season.
It’s unclear exactly how players feel about the new automated system and whether or not they like it more than the traditional umpires that the MLB currently has.
Colorado Rockies star third baseman Kris Bryant was rehabbing with the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Rockies Triple-A affiliate back in May. He discussed how it was to play with automated umps for the first time in his career.
“I’m not totally against it,” he said, via Nick Groke of The Athletic. “Umpires want to get the calls right. They’re not out there trying to influence the game one way or the other. If they have a tool at their advantage to get every call right, that’s great.”
It doesn’t seem like Manfred is ready to make the full plunge to automated umpires. The MLB has always been a league that is slower to change, and it looks like that trend may be continuing going forward.