Juggling a Fly Ball to Prevent a Runner From Tagging Up?


Alex from Fremont asks:

There is a runner on third with less than two outs. The batter hits a deep fly ball and, instead of catching the ball cleanly, which would allow the runner to tag up and score, can the outfielder purposely juggle/bobble the ball while moving back towards the infield, only gaining control over the ball once they are close enough to prevent the run from scoring?

Although there is no rule saying that the fielder cannot purposely juggle and bobble the ball (there is a rule saying they can't purposely drop a fly ball though), in this scenerio it does not matter because, when tagging up, a runner is allowed to tag up as soon as a fielder touches a fly ball. This means that, even if the fielder has not secured the catch, the runner can tag as soon as the outfielder touches the ball, or in this case starts juggling it.

Answered by: Jonathan Bravo
Keywords: Keywords: MLB Definitions of Terms: CATCH

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