MLB revealed on Thursday that they would be testing out a few rule changes at the minor league level. The Dodgers’ affiliates will deal with a few of these changes. One of those changes they won’t see though is an automated balls and strikes system. That is going to be used at the Low-A level in the Southeast region.
The idea of removing umpire error from the game entirely has been in the works for a long time. The most recent solution has obviously been the introduction of instant replay, which still isn’t 100 percent perfect. The Dodgers certainly know what it feels like to be on the wrong side of that.
But the electronic strike zone might be something players are open to. When asked about the potential changes, Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer seemed more than open to the idea of it reaching the big leagues.
I personally would like it, but I think hitters would hate it. I don’t know if the technology is there yet not. But I think there would be a lot more strikes called…there would be some oddities with it for sure. Against, I don’t really have a storng opinion on that one way or another. I can see it from both sides.
Bauer also mentioned that the strike zone would have to be 3D rather than flat or one-dimensional. That would account for guys with being sweeping curveballs being able to catch the corner of the zone but not necessarily being in the zone when caught. The Dodgers have a few guys that would need that addition, Bauer included.
Realistically, the electronic strike zone is probably a long ways away from being Major League ready. But the idea has certainly picked up steam with pitchers around the league, and at least one Dodgers player is in favor.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out and the minor league level this year and beyond.