Sunday, October 20, 2019

John Bacon Ejects Derek Hill Over AFL Auto-Strike

Another week produced another ejection in the Arizona Fall League, as HP Umpire John Bacon ejected Tigers prospect Derek Hill for arguing an automatic strike during Saturday, October 19's Javelinas vs. Solar Sox game in Mesa.

Hill fell victim to the auto-K to lead off his at-bat in the bottom of the 8th inning of the contest, as Bacon enforced the AFL's pitch clock rule that has been in place since the 2014 AFL season, and, in its current form, specifies that the penalty for a batter who fails to be in the batter's box and alert to the pitcher with seven seconds (or less) remaining on the timer shall be penalized with an automatic strike.

Bacon ejected Hill following a post-at-bat argument, which had ended in a swinging strikeout. The crew assigned to Peoria-Mesa on Saturday was quite the experienced group of AFL umpires: HP Umpire Bacon (MLB fill-in #70), 1B Umpire Jose Navas (ejected Jacon Heyward for arguing a computer strike call last Wednesday), 2B Umpire Jansen Visconti (MLB fill-in #52), and 3B Umpire Brennan Miller (MLB fill-in #55).
Related PostComputer Strike Call Prompts Navas' AFL Ejection (10/16/19).

Summary of Penalties for Pitch Clock Violations:
Batter not in box & ready at 7-seconds: Auto-Strike.
Pitcher not in motion at 0-seconds: Auto-Ball.

We previously analyzed baseball's Pace-of-Play automatic strike in 2018. See the following article for a video example of an umpire enforcing the pitch clock rule with an automatic strike in Minor League Baseball during the 2018 season.
Related PostPitch Clock? Anatomy of a Pace-of-Play Auto-Strike (8/27/18).

The AFL's present pitch clock rule most nearly resembles MiLB's pace of play initiatives as introduced prior to the 2018 season. Pitch clocks debuted for the first time at the MLB level during 2019's Spring Training.
Related PostMinor League Baseball Issues 2018 Pace of Play Rules (3/14/18).
Related PostManfred: Pitch Clock WILL Debut at Spring Training (2/18/19).

Clock-averse Official Baseball Rule 5.04(b)(1) states, "The batter shall take his position in the batter’s box promptly when it is his time at bat," while Rule 5.04(b)(4)(A)'s penalty states, "In National Association [e.g., Minor League Baseball] play, for a batter’s second or subsequent violations of this Rule in a game, the umpire shall award a strike without the pitcher having to deliver the pitch. The ball is dead, and no runners may advance."

The pitch clock rule prescribes a strict interpretation as to OBR 5.04(b) violations.

Wrap: Peoria Javelinas vs. Mesa Solar Sox, 10/19/19 | Video unavailable.


Post a Comment