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Check back here for case plays discussed and their answers. -Joe Vaschak
Case Plays:
Week 1 Case Play
  • Case Play 1:  The home team coach is using Jones as his Player/DH in the starting  pitcher position, batting 5th in the 9 player lineup. In the 2nd inning, Jones comes to bat and hits a clean double. The home team coach approaches the plate umpire and requests a courtesy runner for his pitcher, Jones.  ... Ruling -A Courtesy Runner for Jones as pitcher/DH is Not allowed. The reason is that when his team is on defense Jones is considered to be a position player, the pitcher. But, when Jones is at bat he is batting as the DH, not as the pitcher. A Courtesy Runner is not allowed for the DH. (Rule 3-1-4b; Suggested Speed-Up Rules-Courtesy Runners 1). The use of a runner in this case would actually be a “pinch runner”, which would eliminate the DH role for the rest of the game.
  • Case Play 2: The home team coach is using Jones as his Player/DH in the starting  pitcher position, batting 5th in the 9 player lineup. Jones comes to bat in the 4th inning and hits a double, but, while sliding into 2nd base he sprains his ankle and is removed from the game. The coach puts legal substitute Williams in the game to run for Jones. Jones comes back into pitch in the 5th inning.  ... Ruling - This is legal. However, the impact of Williams running for Jones is that the role of the DH is now ended for the game. Since Jones is no longer the DH, and he and Williams cannot occupy a spot in the lineup at the same time, Jones is considered to have been removed from the game for his first time. Jones can re-enter the game, once, because he is a “Starter”. But he re-enters as only a position player, not a Player/DH. (Rule 3-1-3, 3-1-4b)
  • Case Play 3: The home team coach is using Jones as his Player/DH in the starting  pitcher position, batting 5th in the 9 player lineup. Jones as the pitcher grows tired in the 5th inning and is replaced as the pitcher by Coleman. The coach keeps Jones as the DH , and he bats in the 6th inning, getting hit in the helmet by a pitch. He is examined by the trainer who says Jones is not allowed to continue. The coach a) puts Smith in to run for Jones at first base, or, b) has Coleman run for Jones.  ... Ruling -  a) and b) - Both a) and b) are legal actions. In a), the role of the DH will be ended for the game as Smith is an offensive substitute for Jones, the DH. Additionally, Coleman will be out of the game since Smith now occupies that spot in the batting order. In b) the role of the DH is also ended. Coleman does remain in the game as the pitcher, and he will bat for himself in later at-bats. (Rule 3-1-3, 3-1-4b)

Week 2 Case Plays deal with “Hit By Pitch”

· Case Play 1: Batter B1’s shirt has the top two buttons undone causing the top part of his shirt to loosely hang. As the plate umpire you hadn’t noticed it in time before F1 throws a fastball down the middle of the batter’s box. B1 is caught flat-footed and the ball strikes him in the middle of his upper torso. … Make your Ruling –

Ruling 1: B1 is a hit batsman since he did not swing at the pitch, and his loose, unbuttoned shirt had no bearing on where/how the pitch hit him. He is awarded first.

· Case Play 2: Batter B1 takes a legal stance in the batter’s box, but he is leaning over the plate. F1’s off-speed pitch is high over the inside edge of the plate, but out of the strike zone on the high side. B1 freezes, turns his shoulder slightly and allows the pitch to hit the top of his shoulder that is leaning out of the batter’s box near the inside edge of the plate. … Make your Ruling –

Ruling 2: The ball is dead and is called a Ball. B1 is not awarded first because he permitted the ball to hit him without making a bona fide effort to avoid being hit. This is a classic example of where you need to apply your judgement as to whether the batter’s reaction was a bona fide effort to avoid, or did he just make a feeble attempt to move and allow the ball to hit him because it was a slow pitch.

· Case Play 3: With a runner R1 on first, batter B1 anticipates a curve on a 1-0 count and holds his ground. R1 is stealing second base on the pitch. The pitched ball breaks, but hits B1 on the wrist in the strike zone as he tries to avoid it.  … Make your Ruling –

Ruling 3: The ball is dead and B1 remains at bat with a strike called and now has a 1-1 count. R1 must go back to first. The pitch was in the strike zone, so even though the batter tried to avoid being hit he put his wrist in the strike zone. Don’t penalize the pitcher for throwing a good pitch, a strike.