August 1, 2023

Pitchers Ejected Without Warning

Two pitchers ejected without warning in MLB this season

Pitchers Ejected Without Warning

If the umpires determine that a pitcher is intentionally throwing at a batter, they can eject a pitcher without warning, or they can toss both the manager and the pitcher per rule 6.02 (a) (9) following crew consultation. This past week two pitchers were ejected in such fashion.

The first one occurred in the July 25, 2023 game between the Pirates and Padres in San Diego after Pirates’ pitcher Angel Perdomo drilled Manny Machado in the bottom of the seventh inning. The umps (John Tumpane, Paul Clemons, Marvin Hudson, and Hunter Wendelstedt) met and agreed that Perdomo intentionally threw at Machado. Bucs manager Derek Shelton argued the decision and he was also banished.

The second one occurred in the top of the first inning in the Cubs-Cardinals game in St. Louis on July 27, 2023.

After Cards’ catcher Willson Contreras got hit in the helmet by Ian Happ’s backswing and was forced to leave the game with a bleeding gash, Cards’ pitcher Miles Mikolas then fired a pitch that was up and in before he plunked Happ in the rear. The umpires (Ryan Additon, Will Little, Lance Barksdale, and Dan Merzel) huddled and agreed that Mikolas threw at Happ and ejected Mikolas. No warning was issued by the umpires.  After the game, Mikolas, wanted it known that he was defending his teammate. Cards’ manager Oli Marmol was also ejected.

Ruleball Comments

  1. Crew chief Lance Barksdale told a pool reporter that all four umpires agreed that Mikolas intentionally threw at Happ.
  2. Marmol felt a warning should have been issued to both teams following the first up-and-in pitch after the restart.“If the explanation was that there was intent behind the first pitch, then I feel like there should have been a warning after that first pitch, and it could have saved everybody a lot of trouble,” Marmol said.
  3. After the game, Mikolas didn’t say whether he intentionally hit Happ, but made it clear that he was going to defend his teammates. “In any circumstance, I’ve got Willson’s back; he’s my catcher, and I consider him a really good friend now,” said Mikolas.
  4. From this corner that was an admission of guilt which is virtually unheard of. This was not a very good idea, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this choice of words will result in a suspension.
  5. Pitchers and managers should be aware that the umpires can eject without warning if they judge that a pitcher is intentionally throwing at a batter. Before the ejection the umpires must meet to discuss the situation.

Rich Marazzi

Rules consultant/analyst:  Angels, D’backs, Dodgers, Nationals, Orioles, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Red Sox, Rangers, Royals, Tigers, Twins, White Sox, Yankees, Bally Sports, YES, and NBC Sports Chicago.  



In the text above, the umpires’ authority is referenced to Rule 6.02(a)(9). This rule prohibits a pitcher from standing on or astride the rubber without the ball. 6.02(c)(9) covers intentionally pitching at batters. In reading 6.02(c)(9) et seq, I see no mention of a requirement for umpires to confer before issuing the ejections. If this obligation comes from the Umpire’s Manual rather than the Official Baseball Rules, then it is a guideline and not a rule. Players and managers are not obliged to follow the guidelines of the Umpire’s Manual to the same extent umpires are. More to the point, if the ejections happened without an umpires’ conference, the League may have something to say to the umpires later about not following guidelines, but the managers can have no squawk about it on the field. In fact, the closing sentence of 6.02(c)(9) Comment sates, “Umpires should act without hesitation in enforcement of this rule.” Ejections without warnings or conferences can be appropriate and are within the rules.

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