Professional baseball has been testing out different technologies to make the game more fast-paced and exciting, as well as more accurate. Some of the new developments fans have seen in recent years are the addition of things like pitch clocks, a designated strike zone based on a batter’s height, and the Automated Ball-Strike system, aka ABS.

What Is The Automated Ball-Strike System?

Although we’ve seen pitch clocks take effect in the MLB (to the dismay of some players), they are still experimenting with tech like ABS in the minors before it’s brought up to the big leagues. 

Getty Images
Getty Images

If you’ve been to a Buffalo Bisons, Rochester Red Wings, or Syracuse Mets game over the past couple of seasons, you’ve likely noticed the new addition of the ABS system. Previously, any game that took place on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday used a computer tracking system to monitor the location of all pitches, and made an automatic call as to whether it’s a ball or a strike. The home plate umpire then relayed the call to players, coaches and fans after hearing the call in an earpiece, thus taking away an umpire's need to call balls and strikes using their own judgment.

READ MORE: Buffalo Bisons Will Sport New Jerseys This Summer

However, games that took place on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday were subjected to a “challenge system.” Instead of relying on the ABS tracking system, the home plate umpire was in charge of calling balls and strikes. If a player or coach disagreed with the umpire’s call, they are allowed to appeal it up to three times per game, and the ABS system would make the final call. If the umpire’s original call is overturned by the tracking system, the challenging team would get to keep their challenge opportunity.  

New York Baseball Fans Have Mixed Feelings On Baseball’s ABS Challenge System

The new technology being used in AAA baseball has some fans, but also its detractors. Pros of the system say it improves accuracy, allowing players to have more opportunities. However, many people argue that it takes away the integrity and credibility of umpires. 

Getty Images
Getty Images

The system sounds confusing if you’re not familiar with how it works, but don’t worry. AAA Baseball revealed they’re tweaking the rules for the second half of the season, and it’s going to get easier to understand. 

New AAA Baseball Rules Have Taken Effect In New York State

Effective immediately, changes are being implemented to minor league baseball’s ABS and challenge System. 

106.5 WYRK logo
Get our free mobile app

Now, every single game, no matter which day of the week it’s scheduled, will have balls and strikes called by the home plate umpire. Teams are still allowed to challenge calls, however, instead of being able to do so three times, it’s been decreased to only two.

It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the Bisons and Red Wings season’s go with the new changes, and we’ll definitely be watching when and if the testing of this new system proves successful and makes its way into Major League Baseball.

Can You Name All Of These Famous Mascots From Western New York?

How many of these iconic mascots of local sports teams, restaurants, and more can you name?

Gallery Credit: Megan Carter

Every Pick Made By Buffalo Bills GM Brandon Beane

Gallery Credit: Brett Alan

More From 106.5 WYRK