MULTIPLE SUBSTITUTIONS AND DOUBLE-SWITCHES
Rule 5.10(b) Comment:
When a manager makes two or more substitutions at the same time, the manager must, at the same moment, advise the plate umpire of the names of the substitutes, their defensive positions, and in what place each will hit in the batting order. The manager cannot give notice of one of the substitutions, leave the umpire, come back to the plate umpire, and then locate the other player in the lineup. In case the manager fails or refuses to make a decision, the plate umpire is authorized to decide the necessary batting order changes, and the umpire’s decision is final. Just as soon as the substitutions are legal, announcements should be made over the public address system. (The P.A. announcer should not make announcement of any substitution until so advised by the plate umpire.)
Play: A manager goes to the mound and talks with the pitcher. The plate umpire goes out to break up the conference, and while on the mound the manager informs the umpire that the manager wishes to make a double-switch.
Ruling: Legal, provided the manager has not signaled to the bullpen prior to informing the umpire of the multiple substitution.
A manager may give the umpire a double-switch while defensive players are entering the playing field. However, in the unlikely event that an unannounced pitcher takes a position on the pitching rubber before the manager confers with the umpire, Official Baseball Rule 5.10(j)(1) provides such pitcher to have entered the game. In such case, a subsequent attempt by the manager to make a double-switch shall not be allowed.
Again, the opposing manager should be informed of multiple substitutions and should be given the proper batting position of each substitution.
NOTE: When the manager goes to the plate umpire to inform the umpire of a double switch involving a new pitcher, the plate umpire should immediately signal to a base umpire to go to the bullpen for the new pitcher. This speeds up play significantly as opposed to the base umpire having to wait until the conference with the plate umpire is completed and then watching for the manager finally to signal to the bullpen. In such cases, the plate umpire should give a clear signal in case there is more than one pitcher warming up. Also see Interpretation #41 (“Signal to the Bullpen”).