Picking Off Away From the Base


Ballpark Bob from Philly asks:

Pitcher steps back off the rubber to attempt to pick off the runner at second.  The second baseman or shortstop, however, are not covering so he throws the ball directly the second baseman or shortstop at his position, nowhere near the base.  Is this a balk?

Since this is, in theory, an attempt to retire a runner there should be no balk called. Rule 8.02(c) says that a pitcher may not delay the game by throwing the ball to his fielders when the batter is in the batters box other then to attempt to retire a runner. Since the pitcher's initial goal was to retire the runner on second there should not be a balk call.

Answered by: Jonathan Bravo
Keywords: Pitching

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