A week or so ago, it was announced that the trial of the automated strike zone in the independent Atlantic League (in partnership with MLB), used in that league since 2019, was going to end.
Now we know why: The experiment is being promoted to Triple-A.
MLB’s website posted a hiring notice seeking seasonal employees to operate the Automated Ball and Strike system. MLB said it is recruiting employees to operate the system for the Albuquerque Isotopes, Charlotte Knights, El Paso Chihuahuas, Las Vegas Aviators, Oklahoma City Dodgers, Reno Aces, Round Rock Express, Sacramento River Cats, Salt Lake Bees, Sugar Land Skeeters and Tacoma Rainiers.
For now, that excludes the Iowa Cubs and other teams in what’s currently called “Triple-A Central,” though I suspect that league (along with other minor leagues) will get a sponsor name before the 2022 season begins. (Also, the Sugar Land Skeeters are rebranding this year and are going to be Space Cowboys.)
While the hiring notice linked above specifically names the 10 teams of Triple-A West and one Triple-A east team (Charlotte), it does not specifically exclude other markets:
Major League Baseball (MLB) will be operating the Automated Ball and Strike system (ABS) in select Spring Training venues in Florida, in AAA West and Low-A Southeast, and potentially in other non-MLB games and venues.
ABS will leverage optical tracking data to determine and communicate ball and strike calls to plate umpires. It is critical we…