stolen base before pitch is thrown
"Time of the pitch" determines whether runner was safe, or caught in between
Eric asked: Runner steals second base before the pitcher winds up to throw a pitch.
Then the batter hits a fly ball.
Does the runner have to go back to first base,so he doesn't get doubled off?
Or is the runner considered to have been at second base?
Rick answered: Eric, thank you for your question.
The answer is all about "time of the pitch".
From your description it sounds like the ball was live. The pitcher had stepped onto the rubber, when the runner took off for second.
If the runner reached second base before the pitcher started his delivery, he would be considered safe at second.
The subsequent pitch and fly ball affect him from his status as a runner at second base.
If the pitcher had stepped on the rubber, the runner took off for second and the pitcher started his delivery before the runner touched second, the runner would then be subject to returning to first base to avoid being doubled up.
Don't think I have ever seen a runner reach second base on a steal, and the pitcher still deliver the pitch.
Situations in baseball certainly can become complicated. Always interesting to watch them get sorted out in real time. Often leads to much excitement for all involved.
Yours in baseball,
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