|Brian Runge in 2011.|
Brian Gorman, for instance, who missed approximately 50 games to begin the 2013 MLB season, spent Memorial Day week in Triple-A Memphis before returning to the show. Rob Drake worked with Cederstrom in the Pacific Coast League before returning.
After surgery forced him to miss the entire 2006 and most of the 2007 major league seasons, MLB umpire Bill Hohn worked Tucson Sidewinders games for over a week before returning to the big league field. After being placed on umpiring's disabled list for the entire 2011 season, Hohn officially retired from baseball prior to the 2012 season, ending a NL/MLB career dating back to 1987; Todd Tichenor, who served as Hohn's de facto replacement during the 2011 season, was hired in his wake.
This past season, injuries claimed two umpires' professional on-field careers. After taking the brunt of foul balls resulting in concussions and neck injuries for years, crew chief Tim Tschida opted to retire upon hearing from multiple experts who told him "you're one hard foul tip away from quality-of-life issues." Tschida transitioned from professional umpiring to serving as a high school baseball assistant coach.
Meanwhile, Ed Rapuano retired to the position of MLB Umpire Evaluator due to similar injury concerns.
Though a midseason umpiring roster change is an exceptionally rare occurrence, the UEFL Rules Book specifically addresses the case of an umpire hire or release/retirement during the baseball season:
Rule 1-4-d: Umpire classification as AAA or MLB shall be determined during the pre-season draft period, and shall not be altered for scoring purposes during the regular or post-season unless... (2) the umpire is promoted to the MLB staff.
Rule 1-5-a: ...If a significant personnel modification (hiring, firing, release or retirement, except as exempted by Rule 1-4-d) occurs after the pre-season, no UEFL roster may be modified.In other words, a Runge retirement or placement on the umpiring Disabled List would not allow for modification to the UEFL roster while a Conroy or other MiLB promotion would cause the retroactive assessment of MLB-level points for all prior ejections.
tmac's pre-season MiLB umpire power rankings placed Conroy in fourth position, behind fellow umpires Mike Estabrook, Lance Barrett and Jordan Baker. Conroy has been a regular big league fixture in 2013 and his 129 games worked in 2012 ranks third amongst call-ups that season (Mike Muchlinski [ranked #8], 132; DJ Reyburn [ranked #7], 130).
*After a blood clot developed as a complication from a knee injury and the ensuing surgery, Terry Craft missed a great part of the late 2001-early 2002 season. He retired in July 2006, prompting MLB to add Lance Barksdale to the Major League staff.