Clayton Kershaw: “Catchers take a great deal of pride in catching the ball and presenting the baseball to the umpire. A lot of people have jobs and get paid as catchers because of how they present the baseball and you’re basically taking that art form away [By having robotic umpires]. The catching position changes entirely at this point. Pitch framing is a huge deal, especially for some of the new age front offices and organizations. As a pitcher you can definitely tell the difference. That’s taking jobs away right there and making the catching position a lot more offensive."
Listen to three-time Cy Young and 2014 National League Most Valuable Player Clayton Kershaw joined The Dan Patrick Show on Friday to talk about the potential of robotic umpires in Major League Baseball, as the MLB-owned Atlantic League became the first professional league to introduce a computer strike zone to its game.
Kershaw brought up a very interesting point that not a lot of people have talked about, which is how robotic umpires would affect the catching position.
‘Pitch framing’ is the most integral part of the position and has always been an art form in the way catchers present the baseball for the umpire to see. Catchers can sometimes even affect the way umpires decipher borderline calls by ‘fooling’ the umpire into believing he has just seen a pitch hit the strike zone.
Some of the best catchers in baseball history were maestros at pitch framing and were able to help boost their pitcher’s stats by being swift with the way they quickly moved their mitt back into the zone when a ball was caught outside the strike zone.
Check out the segment below as Kershaw says robotic umpires could ‘take jobs away’, considering pitch framing would end overnight.