Cubs' Schwarber Not A Fan Of Robot Umpires

"I like the art and the human error still behind the plate," Kyle Schwarber says.

Bernstein & McKnight Show
March 05, 2019 - 2:28 pm
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(670 The Score) As the independent Atlantic League has partnered with MLB to serve as a testing ground for experiments on potential changes to the rules of the big league game, Cubs left fielder and former catcher Kyle Schwarber has a some mixed feelings regarding the biggest potential modification -- the implementation of an electronic strike zone, also known better as a robot umpire.

But in the end, Schwarber would like to keep the status quo as it relates to calling balls and strikes. He wants the decision in a human's hands.

"There's pros and cons both to it," Schwarber said in an interview with the Bernstein & McKnight Show on Tuesday. "Being a catcher, there's times where you ... where you catch a pitch just off the outside (corner), you get to that ball, you stick it really well, they give you that strike. I feel like the art of catching will go away there. I think catching is an art. You have to be able to read pitches, get under them, get around them, things like that. But then once, if that computer strike zone comes in, that's going to go away. A catcher can just sit on a chair back there and just catch it wherever it's at.

"On the other side, being a hitter, there's pros and cons too. You take a pitch, catcher doesn't catch it well -- ball. You're like, 'OK, sweet.' There's times when, like I said, the catcher is going to catch it really well and you're going to get screwed."

"Me personally, I like umpires back there. I like the human error of the game. I think they're trying to take out some of it -- obviously, you're taking something out of it out of the bases now. But still, I like the art and the human error still behind the plate."

While nothing is has been officially announced, the Atlantic League -- at MLB's request -- could begin utilizing a computerized data system called Trackman to call balls and strikes, according to Baseball America. MLB would then study the effects and consequences -- intended and unintended -- of using an electronic strike zone to inform decisions regarding the future of its league.