July 23 (UPI) -- The independent, eight-team Atlantic League announced Tuesday it will continue using a computer to call balls and strikes for the rest of the 2019 season.
The method debuted at the league's All-Star Game earlier this month. Plate umpire Brian deBrauwere wore an earpiece connected to an iPhone in his pocket and relayed the call after receiving it from a TrackMan computer system.
Every Atlantic League game will use the Automated Ball-Strike system starting Friday.
"This is a landmark day for the Atlantic League and professional baseball," Atlantic League president Rick White said in a news release. "After successfully unveiling the ABS at our All-Star Game in York, Pa., and following positive feedback from managers, players, umpires and fans, we are eager to implement the consistent strike zone accuracy offered by ABS technology."
Umpires are allowed to override the computer's calls. TrackMan does not evaluate checked swings and considers a pitch a strike it if bounces and crosses the designated strike zone.
The Atlantic League is using the Automated Ball-Strike system in partnership with Major League Baseball. The two leagues are in the first year of a three-year partnership that tests "playing rules and equipment initiatives" in the Atlantic League.