MLB officials expect automated ball-strike system to be implemented in 2026

    Major League Baseball has been flirting with the idea of implementing robot umpires for some time, and it appears that the idea will soon become a reality.

    According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, MLB executives “privately expect” an automated ball-strike system (ABS) and a challenge system will be implemented during the 2026 season.

    MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said at an owners meeting last week that it was unlikely an ABS would be implemented in 2025 due to “some technical issues” and a lack of progress with the system in the minor leagues. 

    So far, the automated ball-strike system is used at the Single-A Florida State League and the Triple-A level. Additionally, the Triple-A level uses ABS for the first three games of a six-game series and a challenge system for the final three games. For the challenge system, each team gets three challenges per game, and if a player successfully challenges a call that is overturned, their team keeps their challenge.

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