Atlantic League will use automated system to call balls and strikes for rest of season, starting Thursday

LANCASTER — It’s official: the Lancaster Barnstormers, York Revolution and the rest of the Atlantic League will rely on an automated system to call balls and strikes for the rest of the 2019 season.

The league announced the decision Tuesday morning. It goes into effect on Thursday in games hosted by the Barnstormers, Long Island Ducks, and High Point Rockers, the Atlantic League’s announcement said.

“This is a landmark day for the Atlantic League and professional baseball,” said league president Rick White. “After successfully unveiling the ABS at our All-Star Game in York, and following positive feedback from managers, players, umpires and fans, we are eager to implement the consistent strike zone accuracy offered by ABS technology.”

Home plate umpires will be assisted by the Automated Ball-Strike System, which uses radar to provide a “reliable, precise, ‘rule-book’ strike zone” for pitchers and hitters, according to the league. Umpires will use their judgement for limited ball-strike issues like check swings, while continuing to perform their other normal duties, the league says.

The use of the Automated Ball-Strike System is part of the three-year partnership between Major League Baseball and the Atlantic League, which tests experimental playing rules and equipment initiatives throughout the Atlantic League’s season. The partnership also enhances MLB’s scouting coverage of Atlantic League games, with MLB providing statistical and radar tracking data from ALPB games to MLB clubs.

Fans of all Atlantic League clubs can witness ABS in action in all series after July 25, as follows:

  • July 26: Somerset Patriots, TD Bank Ballpark; York Revolution, PeoplesBank Park
  • July 29: Sugar Land Skeeters, Constellation Field
  • July 30: New Britain Bees, New Britain Stadium
  • August 2: Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, Regency Furniture Stadium
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