D-backs’ Kevin Newman would approve of MLB changes to how strike zone is called

May 15, 2024, 7:55 AM | Updated: 12:34 pm

Manager Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks gestures at umpire Mark Carlson #6 after Joc ...

Manager Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks gestures at umpire Mark Carlson #6 after Joc Pederson #3 was ejected during the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Chase Field on May 13, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. Lovullo was also ejected. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Kevin Newman said that he’d be all for changes to how MLB umpires call the strike zone after seeing manager Torey Lovullo and teammate Joc Pederson get ejected Monday versus the Cincinnati Reds over an incorrectly called strikeout.

“I’m for it,” Newman told Burns & Gambo on Tuesday. “I just don’t know the logistics of it, I don’t know how difficult it is to implement.”

If there isn’t an automated strike zone system coming, Newman supports a grading system for umpires based on their performances.

“I personally would like to see the umpires that grade out the best behind the plate more,” Newman said. “If they don’t want the robot system, we’ve got a whole grading system and you see how good they are. If we got guys that are 99 percenters, let’s throw them back out more often and have those guys call more games.

“I know a lot of guys just want fair balls and strikes, really.”

Newman, who had the game-winning hit in the ninth inning that helped his team beat the Reds, 6-5, was surprised at how quickly Pederson was ejected from the game after arguing the call. Pederson had previously argued a check swing and then lightly flipped his bat to follow the controversial call, a strike on a low and away pitch with two runners aboard.

Newman said it’s a tough situation when it comes to the strike zone and the umpires calling the games. There’s a human error factor he understands.

“We do have some really good umpires in the game and then unfortunately there are some that miss some pretty crucial calls and make some pretty crucial mistakes,” Newman said.

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