Rochester Red Wings split on idea of ‘Robo Umps,’ taking it in stride

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – Robots are coming to Triple-A baseball and the Rochester Red Wings all have their own ideas about the concept.

In an effort to have more consistent calls behind home plate, Triple-A baseball will implement ‘Robo Umps’ at games this season. The purpose of the automatic strike zone is to have more consistency between balls and strikes. A person would still be present behind the plate to relay the call.

“That’s the one thing we could argue about was balls and strikes,” said Red Wings manager Matt LeCroy. “Every now and then you need to get thrown out to get the guys going.”

Shortstop Jeter Downs was unaware of the new system.

“I’m curious to see with breaking pitches how that works, because you can throw a curveball really high and it just clips the top of the zone somehow,” said Downs.

Pitcher Jordan Weems said adjusting to it is important, regardless of your feelings about it.

“The game’s forever changing and it’s here. Whether I like it or I don’t like it, it’s in the game, so I’ve got to adjust to it,” said Weems.

The automatic balls and strikes (ABS) system won’t start until late April.

The Rochester Red Wings open the season at home on Friday at 4 p.m. against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.