|Baker calls Donaldson back to the plate.|
Although a non-swinging batter is usually awarded first base when he is hit by a pitched ball, this was not the case Saturday as HP Umpire Baker invoked Official Baseball Rule 5.05(b)(2)(B), which is a subsection of the rule awarding the batter first base in the event of a hit-by-pitch:
The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when: (2) He is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit unless (A) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or (B) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball.With Donaldson clearly making no attempt to avoid the ball, Baker properly enforced OBR 5.05(b)(2)(B) and ordered Donaldson back to the plate to continue his at bat with the count 1-0 ("If the ball is outside the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a ball if he makes no attempt to avoid being touched"). Replays indicate the pitch had a horizontal px value of -1.179, meaning it was clearly off the plate and out of the zone, but had it been in the zone, Donaldson would have been charged a strike. To be clear, Donaldson's infraction was not that he leaned into the pitch, but that he made no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball.
Baker perhaps was unamused by Donaldson's act after Baker himself was drilled in the left arm by a foul ball during Friday night's contest. That line drive off the bat of Nelson Cruz left an imprint of the baseball's stitch marks on Baker's arm, which was wrapped prior to Saturday's game. It was Baker's second time being struck by a foul ball this season, as he was hit in the hip at third base by another line drive in April.