New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Major League Baseball announced on Thursday that Justin Klemm was tabbed as director of instant replay, and seven new umpires have been granted full-time status for the 2014 season.
"Major League Baseball is pleased to welcome Justin Klemm as Director of Replay," MLB senior VP of baseball operations Peter Woodfork said. "As we move forward with our new system, Justin's background and experiences on and off the field will be vital resources to not only our Umpires, but many of us as at the Commissioner's Office and MLB Advanced Media."
Klemm will be based in MLBAM's offices, which currently serve as baseball's replay command center.
Expansion of the replay system has necessitated an increase of full-time umpires from 68 to 74. The seventh vacancy stemmed from the passing of 21- year veteran Wally Bell last October.
Jordan Baker, Lance Barrett, Cory Blaser, Mike Estabrook, Mike Muchlinski, David Rackley and D.J. Reyburn were all given the bump up. All seven worked at the Triple-A level last season, while Estabrook carries the highest number of MLB games worked at 698.
In addition, Bill Miller and Jeff Nelson have been promoted to crew chief. Both men are entering their 16th seasons of MLB service.