MLB needs more consistent umpiring behind the plate

Andrew Deal

Major League Baseball needs to make some sort of adjustment or permanent change to its umpires. Over the past couple of years, there have been some insane calls made that have changed the outcome of games.

However, lately there have been consistently missed ball and strike calls. This is leading to an unfair advantage for the pitchers, and the hitters are mentally losing confidence, a key aspect to hitting in baseball.

The most notable missed calls have been made by Angel Hernandez. In fact, after multiple missed calls in one at-bat, Phillies outfielder Kyle Schwarber lost his mind after Hernandez rang him up on strikes on a pitch four inches outside of the zone.

MLB then addressed this situation by informing the public that the strike zone given for the umpires to use is actually wider than what is seen on television broadcasts, and that the players have been used to that for years. This is a horrible look for a sport that is struggling in many other aspects, like how to speed up the game, but not take away from the flow of the pitchers.

This whole situation could’ve been avoided had MLB informed the players and fans about the true strike zone. However, the strike zone is not following the typical guideline. The usual guideline for the width of the strike zone is the width of home plate. But, with their expansion of the strike zone, they are trying to speed the game up by having more “competitive” pitches called strikes.

The skill of the MLB hitters has drastically grown, but just because they may be able to hit more pitches that are outside of the strike zone, does not mean that there needs to be an expansion of the it.

Some notable players may be struggling this season because of this. Mariners top prospect and rookie outfielder Julio Rodriguez has been called out on strikes 13 times on pitches that were not strikes according to the normal strike zone. Also, Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves just returned from injury from last season, and was called out three times in a game on pitches that were not even close to the strike zone.

With the addition of robotic umpires, like they use in the minor leagues, there is a uniform strike zone that is used and followed. There are no jobs being lost, as the umpires still make the calls, they just get the calls from someone in the booth, and will always be accurate. If there is no addition to robotic umpires, there needs to be more consistency with the calls from the umpires. The inconsistency is slowly making the game less enjoyable.