Monday, July 27, 2020

Ask UEFL - Can a Pitcher Pinch Run for DH?

During Sunday's Tigers-Reds game, Chief Larry Vanover's crew made quick work of a substitution issue that turned into an Ask the UEFL question: can a pitcher pinch run for the designated hitter?

HP Umpire Chris Conroy presided over the sequence in the bottom of the 9th inning in Cincinnati when Reds DH Jesse Winker was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners. Reds Manager David Bell elected to employ the services of a pinch runner, and not just any pinch runner. He selected Michael Lorenzen, a pitcher who pitched the top of the inning for Cincinnati.

As Conroy convened umpires Vanover, David Rackley, and Lance Barksdale, the crew expertly invoked Official Baseball Rule 5.11(a)(10) to determine that such a substitution is, indeed, legal: "Once the game pitcher bats or runs for the Designated Hitter, such move shall terminate the Designated Hitter for that Club for the remainder of the game. The game pitcher may pinch-hit or pinch-run only for the Designated Hitter."

Bell, a National League skipper operating in a year of universal DH, likely would have found no downside to terminating the DH if it would have given Cincinnati a chance to tie the game and go to extras. Alas, Joey Votto then grounded into a game-ending double play.

Sidebar: Compare and contrast Winker's HBP to Diamondbacks batter Kevin Cron's Sunday non-base award that led to the ejection of Arizona's Torey Lovullo.
RelatedMLB Ejection 02 - Mark Ripperger (1; Torey Lovullo) (7/26/20).

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: After Winker's HBP, umpires convene to determine runner legality (CIN)


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