who is the pitcher
by don garvin
The Pitcher Is The Player Whose Name And Number Appear On The Lineup Card
Don asked: Several times this year the question has arisen, that if any defensive player going to his position stops on the mound and picks up the ball, waits for the assigned pitcher and then tosses the ball to him.
Some say that that player has to pitch to at least one batter.
Years ago while coaching a bronco team(11-12) I had the situation and was forced to use the player who had picked up the ball.
Who is the pitcher?
Rick answered: Don, thank you for your question.
In my 42 years of coaching baseball, I have never heard of a rule like you have run up against, at any level.
It is possible it is a local solution, to some type of problem which at one time arose in their league.
The pitcher at the moment, regardless of who picks up the baseball, is the player whose name and number appear on the lineup card, that was delivered to the official scorer, the opposing coach and the umpires prior to the ballgame's start, or any subsequent substitutions for said player.
In my experience, players pick up the baseball on their way out, and toss it to their pitcher as a courtesy. No harm, no foul.
However, if a league has written a specific rule to prevent this from happening, that rule will prevail for that league, even if it is the only league in the country to adopt it.
I would suggest that you read through your league's rule book and see if there is a reference to this. If so, adhere to it for the season, maybe have a league coaches meeting and see if there is support for taking it out of the rule book.
I would be interested in hearing what you find out. As stated above, that is a new one for me.
I would also be interested in hearing why this rule, if it is written in the rule book, was created in the first place.
Good luck in your search. Looking forward to your findings.
Yours in baseball,