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Guest Jeff

Right-handed pitcher move to first

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Guest Jeff

Runner on 1st, right-handed pitcher on mound.  Pitcher is in the stretch, and has come to a set position.  Without moving the pivot/right foot, the pitcher turns and makes a throw to 1st.  Balk?  I have always believed so, but an umpire we recently ran into said it was not a balk for the following reasons.  First, he sited this rule: The pitcher does not have to step off the rubber to throw to a base. Second, he said the pitcher did not try to deceive either the runner or the batter.  I was speechless, as I have never seen this done before.  Thoughts?

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6 minutes ago, Guest Jeff said:

Runner on 1st, right-handed pitcher on mound.  Pitcher is in the stretch, and has come to a set position.  Without moving the pivot/right foot, the pitcher turns and makes a throw to 1st.  Balk?  I have always believed so, but an umpire we recently ran into said it was not a balk for the following reasons.  First, he sited this rule: The pitcher does not have to step off the rubber to throw to a base. Second, he said the pitcher did not try to deceive either the runner or the batter.  I was speechless, as I have never seen this done before.  Thoughts?

Does a LH pitcher have to step off?  (Hint:  No)

Do the rules distinguish between a RH pitcher and a LH pitcher? (Hint:  No)

So, can a RH pitcher throw to first without stepping off? (I'll leave this to you).

You might not see it often because pitching coaches don't teach it (they believe the total move is faster with a step off or jab step or jump turn or ...)

 

(Inquiring minds want to know exactly where the other umpire placed the rule. ;) )

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In addition to @noumpere‘s insights, the other reason you rarely see a direct throw by a RHP to 1B (as described in the OP) in amateur baseball, is that once started, it cannot be faked, feinted or stopped. The throw must be completed.

A third the time, the F3 (first baseman) doesn’t know it’s coming or ready for it. Another third, the F1 (pitcher) isn’t prepared to make a good throw, whether he has an improper grip, or his eyes are all big over keeping R1 from stealing on him. The last third, the F1 lacks the discipline to set and move his feet legally so as to throw directly, in one motion.

So, many amateur coaches teach F1’s to step or jump back off the rubber first, thus disengaging, and thereby allowing F1 to fake, throw, pump and throw, or go chasing after R1 to 2B.

If they put this much effort into teaching F1’s to throw strikes, teaching infielders how to take routine grounders and throw to 1B, and teaching all their players how to catch routine pop-ups, there’d be far fewer R1’s to worry about.

But that’s another topic.

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4 hours ago, Guest Jeff said:

Without moving the pivot/right foot, the pitcher turns and makes a throw to 1st. 

The pivot foot is not the issue here.  What is not clear from your post is did he gain direction and distance (toward first) with his free foot?  From your description "he turns and throws" thats a balk.  But if he stepped toward first with his free foot, turned and throws thats fine--which I imagine he did as it would difficult to throw without stepping toward first.

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Any pitcher (right or left handed) need not step off the rubber to throw to first. I think a coach does a right handed pitcher a disservice to not teach him the proper way of using a jump turn vs stepping off the rubber to throw to first.  I will be honest and tell you I am having trouble visualizing how a RH pitcher could throw to first without moving his pivot foot. Did he require an EMT after he did it? 

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32 minutes ago, blue23ll said:

Any pitcher (right or left handed) need not step off the rubber to throw to first. I think a coach does a right handed pitcher a disservice to not teach him the proper way of using a jump turn vs stepping off the rubber to throw to first.  I will be honest and tell you I am having trouble visualizing how a RH pitcher could throw to first without moving his pivot foot. Did he require an EMT after he did it? 

Me, too. Plus, it's called a pivot foot for a reason.

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5 hours ago, Guest Jeff said:

Runner on 1st, right-handed pitcher on mound.  Pitcher is in the stretch, and has come to a set position.  Without moving the pivot/right foot, the pitcher turns and makes a throw to 1st.  Balk?  I have always believed so, but an umpire we recently ran into said it was not a balk for the following reasons.  First, he sited this rule: The pitcher does not have to step off the rubber to throw to a base. Second, he said the pitcher did not try to deceive either the runner or the batter.  I was speechless, as I have never seen this done before.  Thoughts?

You're not old enough. Used to be the normal way.  :)

 

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8 hours ago, blue23ll said:

I think a coach does a right handed pitcher a disservice to not teach him the proper way of using a jump turn vs stepping off the rubber to throw to first.

I'm starting to see more jump turns. Unfortunately, I've called many balks this year on kids jump turning to 1B and not throwing and coaches yelling, "he stepped off", pointing out his pivot lands behind the rubber after the jump.

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1 hour ago, Richvee said:

I'm starting to see more jump turns. Unfortunately, I've called many balks this year on kids jump turning to 1B and not throwing and coaches yelling, "he stepped off", pointing out his pivot lands behind the rubber after the jump.

If pitchers pivot foot lands in front of rubber, hes allowed to take the throw to 1B without penalty, but if it lands behind the rubber after the jump, and pitcher fakes to 1B, its a balk.

Am I Understanding you correctly,  sir??

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6 hours ago, Nic said:

If pitchers pivot foot lands in front of rubber, hes allowed to take the throw to 1B without penalty, but if it lands behind the rubber after the jump, and pitcher fakes to 1B, its a balk.

Am I Understanding you correctly,  sir??

 No. A jump turn is always considered a move from the rubber. 

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6 hours ago, Nic said:

If pitchers pivot foot lands in front of rubber, hes allowed to take the throw to 1B without penalty, but if it lands behind the rubber after the jump, and pitcher fakes to 1B, its a balk.

Am I Understanding you correctly,  sir??

As Matt said, it's always a move from the rubber. Landing point of the pivot foot is irrelevant. A feint to 1B can only occur when F1 steps off the rubber first, then he may throw or fake.  When it's virtually all one motion, like a jump turn, a throw must be made to 1B. Some naive coaches and F1's, when they jump turn and don't throw and a balk is called,  like to try to argue F1's pivot foot landed behind the rubber and not a balk...Not true. . 

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7 hours ago, Nic said:

If pitchers pivot foot lands in front of rubber, hes allowed to take the throw to 1B without penalty, but if it lands behind the rubber after the jump, and pitcher fakes to 1B, its a balk.

Am I Understanding you correctly,  sir??

Here's how I teach it: to disengage properly, F1 must lift his pivot foot, move it directly backward behind the rubber in a step, and place it behind (not on) the rubber. When it touches the ground, he is disengaged. If he is disengaging legally, we do not get too technical about completing the disengagement prior to separating the hands—that can happen at about the same time (for example, to feint a throw to 1B). In order to earn the "right" to feint to 1B, F1 must legally disengage.

If both feet move before he is completely disengaged, then F1 is not legally disengaging. Thus, we have a "move from the rubber," and if he is playing on a runner at 1B he must throw there. We will accordingly assess whether the free foot has satisfied the requirements of "stepping directly to the base."

Some coaches who don't fully understand the pitching restrictions believe that F1 can execute a jump turn and feint, provided that he lands behind the rubber. That move does not satisfy the requirements of legal disengagement.

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Guest Jeff

 

18 hours ago, blue23ll said:

I am having trouble visualizing how a RH pitcher could throw to first without moving his pivot foot

RH pitcher is in stretch and has come to a set position.  Let's say feet are right next to each other, or just a bit offset - pointing directly at 3B.  With right foot remaining in position, engaged with rubber, the pitcher starts rotating the left foot counter-clockwise.  As he rotes the left foot counter-clockwise, the foot also begins to travel toward 1B.  When the left foot finally plants, the feet have opened up to an angle of about 135 degrees - so right foot is still pointing at 3B, left foot is pointing half way between home and 1B, and body is basically facing home plate.  At the point the left foot is planted, the pitcher now begins his throw to 1B, causing his right foot to disengage from the rubber.  

I'm not saying it was pretty - but definitely did not require an EMT.

 

Thanks again for all the insight.

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1 hour ago, johnnyg08 said:

He has to gain distance and direction with his free foot or left foot in this case. There's no mention of a step in the OP. 

 

Try doing it without stepping.  Not gonna happen. 

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4 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

Try doing it without stepping.  Not gonna happen. 

Disagree. But I do think that if you and I saw a video of the play in question, we would agree on the legality of the play. 

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1 hour ago, Guest Jeff said:

 

RH pitcher is in stretch and has come to a set position.  Let's say feet are right next to each other, or just a bit offset - pointing directly at 3B.  With right foot remaining in position, engaged with rubber, the pitcher starts rotating the left foot counter-clockwise.  As he rotes the left foot counter-clockwise, the foot also begins to travel toward 1B.  When the left foot finally plants, the feet have opened up to an angle of about 135 degrees - so right foot is still pointing at 3B, left foot is pointing half way between home and 1B, and body is basically facing home plate.  At the point the left foot is planted, the pitcher now begins his throw to 1B, causing his right foot to disengage from the rubber.  

I'm not saying it was pretty - but definitely did not require an EMT.

 

Thanks again for all the insight.

Jim Evans demonstrates this move in his balk video.  It's awkward, but a legal move.

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2 hours ago, Guest Jeff said:

 

RH pitcher is in stretch and has come to a set position.  Let's say feet are right next to each other, or just a bit offset - pointing directly at 3B.  With right foot remaining in position, engaged with rubber, the pitcher starts rotating the left foot counter-clockwise.  As he rotes the left foot counter-clockwise, the foot also begins to travel toward 1B.  When the left foot finally plants, the feet have opened up to an angle of about 135 degrees - so right foot is still pointing at 3B, left foot is pointing half way between home and 1B, and body is basically facing home plate.  At the point the left foot is planted, the pitcher now begins his throw to 1B, causing his right foot to disengage from the rubber.  

I'm not saying it was pretty - but definitely did not require an EMT.

 

Thanks again for all the insight.

So he stepped.Legal. Doable.

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1 hour ago, johnnyg08 said:

Disagree. But I do think that if you and I saw a video of the play in question, we would agree on the legality of the play. 

The comment I responded to was about throwing without stepping.  Try it. Ain't gonna happen.

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