Can a pitcher throw to unoccupied base? (2023)

Can a pitcher throw to a base without stepping off the rubber?

(d) Official Baseball Rule 6.02(a)(3) requires the pitcher, while touching the pitcher's 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.

(Video) Pitcher Throwing to an Unoccupied Base Balk 1
(Rule Reference)
Can a pitcher throw to the shortstop?

First and Third - Throw to Shortstop

This can be an effective play at getting the lead runner, and doesn't require a catcher with a strong arm. As the pitch is thrown and the runner from first steals, the second baseman will cover second base. The shortstop will come straight in toward the grass.

(Video) Balk Rules - Can't Pick Off to Unoccupied Base
(Coach Dan Blewett)
Can a pitcher throw to a base from the windup?

From the Windup Position, the pitcher may: (1) deliver the ball to the batter, or (2) step and throw to a base in an attempt to pick-off a runner, or (3) disengage the rubber (if he does he must drop his hand to his sides).

(Video) Fake to unoccupied base is a balk
(Strong Hammer)
Can a pitcher throw to third without stepping off the rubber?

The pitcher may fake a throw to second or third base from the rubber, but not to first base. This may be done from the windup or the set position. (You do not have to step off the rubber to fake to 2nd or 3rd.

(Video) What is a Balk in Baseball? Every Rule Demonstrated & Explained
(Coach Dan Blewett)
Can a pitcher balk with bases empty?

If no runners are on base and the pitcher commits an otherwise balkable action, there generally is no penalty. However, delivering a quick return or pitching while off the rubber (which constitute balks when runners are on base) results in a ball being called with the bases empty.

(Video) Balk to Third Base Fielder Was Not Making a Play on the Runner
Can a pitcher step off the rubber and fake a throw to first base?

Rule #2: You can't fake a throw to first base

This applies to pick off moves for righties and lefties where they perform their first-base pick off move without stepping off the rubber.

(Video) Is It a Balk? Faking a Pickoff to First Base
(Coach Dan Blewett)
What pitch is banned in MLB?

Each team was allowed to designate up to two pitchers who would be permitted to throw spitballs. After the 1920 season, the use of the spitball was banned with the exception of a group of 17 existing spitballers, who became legacy spitballers and allowed to throw the pitch legally until they retired.

(Video) When Should You Step off the Rubber as a Pitcher?
(Coach Dan Blewett)
Can you balk to 2nd base?

According to the rules of baseball, a balk is "an illegal act by the pitcher with a runner or runners on base, entitling all runners to advance one base." The purpose of the balk rule is to preserve a balance between runners attempts to steal bases and the defense's attempts to retire them.

(Video) Can a pitcher throw to third without stepping off the rubber?
(QUESTIONS and ANSWERS. w/ Elizabeth)
What pitch is illegal in baseball?

An illegal pitch may be quick pitch (i.e. a pitch made before the batter is properly set in the batter's box), a pitch made while the pitcher is not in contact with the pitching rubber, or one in which he takes an extra step while making his delivery.

(Video) Pickoff to 1st Base
(Baseball Pitching Precision LLC)
Is Garcia's wind up legal?

If the pitcher is pitching from the wind-up position this is a legal play. If the pitcher is pitching from the set position, that is a balk or an illegal pitch.


Can you fake to third and throw to first?

Pitchers commonly have used the fake-to-third move to fool baserunners into jumping off of either first or third. But that move will now be considered a balk, though pitchers can still fake a pickoff throw to second.

(Video) The WRONG Way to Pick Off to Second Base in Baseball
(Coach Dan Blewett)
What is an illegal motion by a pitcher?

There are four main categories of illegal pitching activity: altering the baseball, pitching when the batter is not ready, throwing at a batter, or making pitching motions when not actually stepping on the pitching plate (also known as pitching rubber).

Can a pitcher throw to unoccupied base? (2023)
Do you have to step off the rubber to pick off?

Once brought together, the pitcher may not separate his hands except to do one of three things: Deliver the pitch to the batter, Step and throw to an occupied base to pick off a batter, or. Properly disengage the rubber by stepping backward off the rubber with the pivot foot.

Do pitchers have to stay on rubber?

The rules mandate that the pitcher's pivot foot must remain in contact with the rubber or must drag on the ground away from the rubber on the delivery motion. It's legal if the pivot foot turns or slides as the pitcher pushes off the rubber, providing there is no loss of contact with the rubber.

Does a pitcher have to step off to throw to second 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 and is required to throw (except to second base) because he steps.

Should a pitcher push off the rubber?

Push Off the Rubber

Remind pitchers to not just stand in front of the rubber, but push off it on every pitch. This will allow your hurler to feel like he's pitching “downhill.”

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