Major League Baseball announced today that seven umpires have been named to the full-time Major League Umpiring staff. In addition, as another part of this season's expansion of instant replay, the Office of the Commissioner has appointed Justin Klemm as Director of Instant Replay.
The process of replay expansion has increased the number of full-time Major League Umpires from 68 to 74. The seventh vacancy stemmed from last October's tragic passing of 21-year Major League Umpire Wally Bell. MLB's seven new umpires, all of whom have experience as call-up umpires during MLB's regular season and in Major League Spring Training, are:
Jordan Baker- Baker, 32, has been an umpire in the Minor Leagues since the 2005 season. In 2013, he worked in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Baker worked his first game in the Majors on June 24, 2012 and overall, he has been a part of 199 regular season Major League games.
Lance Barrett- Barrett, 29, has been a Minor League umpire since 2003. He is now the youngest full-time Major League Umpire. In 2013, he worked in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Barrett debuted in the Majors on October 1, 2010 and he has worked 237 big-league games.
Cory Blaser- Blaser, 32, has been an umpire in the Minor Leagues since the 2002 season. In 2013, he worked in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Blaser made his Major League debut on April 24, 2010 and he has worked 346 Major League games.
Mike Estabrook- Estabrook, 37, has umpired professionally since 1999. In 2013, he was on the staff of the Triple-A International League. Estabrook's first Major League game was on May 7, 2006, and he has been assigned to 698 Major League games.
Mike Muchlinski- Muchlinski, 36, has been a Minor League umpire since 1999. In 2013, he worked in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. Muchlinski made his Major League debut on April 24, 2006, and he has worked 569 Major League games.
David Rackley- Rackley, 32, has been an umpire in the Minor Leagues since the 2001 season. In 2013, he was on the staff of the Triple-A International League. Rackley had his first Major League game on August 13, 2010, and he has been on the field for 165 Major League games overall.
D.J. Reyburn- Reyburn, 37, has umpired in the Minors since 2000. In 2013, he worked in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has worked 440 Major League games since his debut on June 10, 2008.
Two Major League Umpires, veterans Bill Miller and Jeff Nelson, have been promoted to Cre Chief. Miller, a graduate of UCLA, is a 15-year Major League Umpire who has received 12 career Postseason assignments, including the 2010 and 2012 World Series. Nelson, also a 15-year official in the Majors, has worked 13 Postseason events, including the 2005 and 2009 Fall Classics.
Klemm, who will report to MLB's Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations Peter Woodfork, will be based at the headquarters of MLB Advanced Media, which will continue to serve as the Replay Command Center. In 2008, he became Executive Director of Minor League Baseball's Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation (PBUC). In his new role, Klemm will be responsible for the management of umpire involvement at the Replay Center. Among his duties, Justin will handle supervisor staffing at the facility, and along with the technology director at MLBAM, will help to coordinate the procedural configuration with the 30 Clubs.
"Major League Baseball is pleased to welcome Justin Klemm as Director of Replay," 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 joined PBUC in 2004 as a Field Evaluator/Instructor before being named Executive Director, a capacity in which he worked closely with MLB's Umpiring Department on a variety of issues, including mechanics, rule interpretations, Arizona Fall League assignments and new hires. In addition to being responsible for all personnel moves for 220 Minor League Umpires, Justin guided a staff of six field evaluators and a medical coordinator while ensuring that qualified officials were in place for all 16 domestic minor leagues.
Prior to his administrative experience with PBUC, Klemm spent nine seasons as an umpire in the minor leagues, including four years in the Triple-A International League. As a call-up umpire, Justin worked numerous regular season games at the Major League level, and he was invited to work the Arizona Fall League on two occasions. In addition, he spent two off-seasons umpiring in China and Australia in an effort to develop officiating skills in those countries. A native of Cataumet, Massachusetts, Klemm graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Science in Management.