Rule 8.05 comment

i With a runner on first base the pitcher may make a complete turn, without hesitating toward first, and throw to second. This is not to be interpreted as throwing to an unoccupied base.[/i]

Has anyone actually seen this in action? This ruling has always been a little fuzzy to me. Does it say that as pitcher I can come set and then swing my stride leg around behind me and throw to second (as long as I don’t have any hesitation)?

No pause is necessary if you are throwing a pickoff. As long as you don’t make a movement towards home you’re all good.

It may be awkward to do an inside move while you arm coming set, but to my knowledge, you can do it.

I’m asking if anyone has ever seen this happen in a game. Man on first only, pitcher comes set then throws to second. I don’t understand how this is not considered throwing to an unoccupied base.

If no one is at second then it is a balk, if and only if he doesn’t disengage the rubber before throwing.

I believe you’re allowed to throw to an unoccupied base ahead of a runner to attempt a put out.

Only if you step of the rubber, then yes you can.

But the rule does not mention having to step off. It says that you can just make a complete turn and throw to second. Since it does mention “without hesitating towards first” I assume that you would have to turn in the direction of first to make this a valid play. Meaning that as a RHP, I couldn’t just go to knee lift and continue rotating towards second - I would have to do an outside turn in some fashion, not hesitate towards first, step towards second and throw.

I just read what you posted at the very top in full. It sounds like you can just throw right to second with a guy on first and no one on second. That’s weird.

I have always thought you can’t, but if that’s the rule says, I guess you can. I always step off before throwing. I don’t think it’s worth the risk of getting called for a balk.

Interesting find.

Stepping off before throwing can have its own problems. If the ball is thrown out of play, the runners advance two bases. Once he disengages the pitcher’s plate, he is considered a fielder. If, however, the pitcher had just thrown from the rubber to first base, it’s only a single base award if he tosses it out of play.

If there is little or no room in foul territory behind first base, I would think twice before stepping off to throw. Step off and hold the ball. The runner will still get dirty by diving back to the base. Maintain contact with the rubber for throws over to first if you can make that play.

It is a balk when… d) the pitcher, while touching his plate, throws, or feints a throw to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making a play;

As to the move to second base, he can’t throw to an unoccupied base, but if, as a RHP, he lifts and rotates clockwise toward second he may throw to make a play on the runner, but at the same time, he is not obliged to throw.

Rule 8.05© requires the pitcher, while touching his plate, to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base. If a pitcher turns or spins off of his free foot without actually stepping or if he turns his body and throws before stepping, it is a balk. A pitcher is to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base but does not require him to throw (except to first base only) because he steps.

He can hold the ball and check the runner’s position. After the spin, he can charge the runner and throw to any base necessary to make a play on the runner caught between 1B and 2B.

[quote=“CoachPaul”]…
As to the move to second base, he can’t throw to an unoccupied base, but if, as a RHP, he lifts and rotates clockwise toward second he may throw to make a play on the runner, but at the same time, he is not obliged to throw.
…[/quote]

With a runner only on first - it would most certainly be a balk for a RHP to lift and rotate clockwise in this instance. It would look too much like his normal knee lift and thus commit him to deliver the ball to the catcher.

The only way I can see this type of move being done is to rotate counter-clockwise (in the direction of 1st base). I’d still like to hear from anyone actually seeing this done in a game situation.