How would the Robo Zone affect pitchers?
Ever since the on-screen strike zone box was introduced, there are probably fewer things that have aggravated fans to the degree of a blatant missed call. Especially now that we have instant feedback.
The rhetoric often surrounds a pitcher hitting his spots and not getting a call, or the pitch framing ability of catchers, such as Henry Davis, and how he’d benefit from a robo zone.
But would we actually be masking a key development of pitchers in the long term? Would command and control become outliers, just as is expected to be of framing ability?
The thought popped into my head watching Tyler Beede pitch to Victor Robles on Wednesday. Beede walked Robles on five pitches. MLB Gameday zone showed two of those balls were in the strike zone.
The second pitch, Perez was set up inside. Beede missed the spot, clipping the outside edge, while the ball hit off the edge of Perez’s glove and caromed to the backstop.
Robo zone: “Strike”
The third pitch, he did hit his spot, and should’ve been called a strike, but I digress.
I think back to Tyler Glasnow’s limited time in Pittsburgh. The second called ball for Beede is precisely one of the many instances I remember with Glasnow. He’d throw a high 90’s heater on the opposite side of the plate from where the catcher was set up, and it be called a ball. From missing his spot so bad, and the catcher having to reach across his body, removing his ability to frame it.
In the short term, it’d be a boost to our psyche as fans, but long term, would the overall development of pitcher’s control be placed on the backburner? Robo Zone would likely provide a boost to finesse pitchers, but throwers may just always remain throwers.
A prospect like Jared Jones, with his stuff, would only have to worry about “throw it in or around this area” as opposed to hitting spots.
BREWERS @ PIRATES
Time: 7:05 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Roansy Contreras (2-1, 2.76)
Brewers Starter: Corbin Burnes (6-4, 2.41)
Contreras Notes: Contreras goes up against 2021 NL Cy Young Winner, Corbin Burnes. Ro tossed five innings of one run ball against the Rays his last time out, although he walked five in the process. This will be the first time seeing Contreras for most of the Brewers lineup, as they have gone a combined 0 for 8 in limited exposure. It’ll be a glimpse into a future marquee matchup, between two front end starters. If Contreras pitches at least five innings, he’ll graduate from all prospect lists.
Lineups: Check back prior to the game.