Given the increasing velocities of pitchers, the electric late movement of so many contemporary hurlers, and the emphasis on catcher pitch-framing, you're seeing more and more people advocate for an automated strike zone. To cite one recent example, Cubs veteran Ben Zobrist recently stumped for letting the computers call balls and strikes

Needless to say, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, who's much more of a plugged-in sort than his predecessor, is not unaware of this movement. Via's Anthony Castrovince, here's what Manfred had to say on the future of ball-strike calls ... 

"It would be a pretty fundamental change in the game to take away a function that has been performed by our umpiring staff, really with phenomenal accuracy. The fact of the matter is they get them right well over 90 percent of the time.

"And there is a human aspect to that, a work aspect to it that's always been an important part of our game. I don't think you can just jump to the conclusion that if you have (the) technology to do it that's the right thing for your product."

Yes, plate umps get it right more than 90 percent of the time, but think about how many pitches we're talking about. Getting, say, five to seven percent of those calls demonstrably wrong really moves the needle considering the volume involved. Umpires are very good at their jobs, but increasingly calling pitches accurately all or almost all of the time is beyond human capabilities. Manfred, though, seems to value the human element that is indeed dear to many fans. 

It seems inevitable that we'll eventually have an automated zone, but the most powerful figure in baseball doesn't see it happening anytime soon.