When the cacher throws ball back to the pitcher
(Kihei, HI, USA)
Ellis asked: When the catcher throws ball back to the pitcher and the ball hits the batters bat or hand and the batter is still in the batters box, what is the ruling on the field?
Rick answered: Ellis, thank you for your question.
The batter is entitled to his space in the batter's box.
If, for some reason, the umpire has called time, or otherwise has a dead ball situation at the time the catcher hits the batter or his bat, there is no ruling as the ball is dead, thus all action stops until the umpire declares play resumed.
As you look at the image above, say the pitch is made and the catcher decides to throw down to third base, attempting to pick off the runner.
When he releases the ball, if the thrown ball hits the batter, who is standing in the batter's box, the ball is still live.
With the live ball situation, the runner from third base, in this case, can advance at his own risk.
Should the ball rebound off the batter or his bat and ultimately go into the stands or dugout, it is out of play and the runner from third base scores.
No matter where the runners are located, that ball is live and they can advance at their own risk.
If the umpire determines that the batter intentionally touched the live ball, then runners cannot advance. If, in the umpire's discretion, he feels the runner would have been out, but for the interference, he can call both the runner and the batter out.
Yours in baseball,
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