July 21, 2022

Players Use Detached Equipment to Make Plays

Examples in Major League Baseball of players throwing gloves and catcher's mask to stop a live baseball

Players Use Detached Equipment to Make Plays

Pitchers Throw Glove

Play No. 1

On June 29th the Red Sox and Blue Jays played in Toronto. Boston’s Franchy Cordero led off the top of the third inning facing Alek Manoah. With the infield shifted toward second, the third base area was vacant. Cordero laid down a bunt in the direction of third base. For some foolish reason, Manoah threw his glove at the ball. Fortunately for the Jays, he missed.

Cordero eventually scored that inning to make the score 1-1 in a game the Sox won, 6-5.

Ruleball Comments

  1. When a player throws his glove and makes contact with a fair batted ball, or a ball that has a chance of becoming fair, the base award is three bases from the position of the runners at the point of contact when the glove meets the ball. Obviously, any runner on base would score provided they touched all the bases. The batter-runner is guaranteed at least third base. If the batter-runner had first base made at the point the glove and ball made contact, he would be awarded home. The ball is not dead and the batter-runner could attempt to go home at his own risk. See rule 5.06 (b) (4) (C).
  2. In the above play, you will notice that Cordero had not yet made first base when Manoah threw his glove at the ball. If Manoah’s glove made contact with the ball, Cordero would have been awarded third base.
  3. Let’s say in the above play, Manoah violated the rule, and he made a throw that ended-up in the outfield. Cordero’s guaranteed base award would be third base, but if he wanted to try for home, he would do so at his own risk. If he was thrown out at the plate, the putout would remain.

Play No. 2

The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 8-0 on July 2, 2013, in Colorado. In the bottom of the sixth, the Rockies had D.J. LeMahieu on first and no outs when Josh Rutledge laid down a bunt that rolled between the pitcher’s mound and the first base line. Dodgers’ pitcher Clayton Kershaw, in an attempt to stop the ball, threw his glove at it. Fortunately for the Dodgers, the glove did not make contact with the ball.  If it did, Rutledge would have been awarded third base and LeMahieu would have scored from first.

Ruleball Comment

  1. Did Kershaw intentionally throw his glove at the ball, or did he throw his glove to get rid of it to enable himself to field the ball easier? Whatever, this was a foolish thing to do. The umpires would have to make the judgment regarding intent, but I would think they would lean toward invoking 5.06 (b) (4) (C). From my perspective he tossed his glove at the ball.
  2. Notice one of the broadcasters erroneously said that if he made contact with the ball, it would be a two-base award.

Play No. 3

Never assume that your players know these most basic rules. On May 28, 2005, the Diamondbacks hosted the Dodgers. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Arizona was trailing 4-2 when Luis Terrero hit a soft pop-up over the head of Dodgers’ pitcher Duaner Sanchez. In an attempt to stop the ball, Sanchez threw his glove in the air and made contact with the ball which landed not far from the pitcher’s mound. Terrero was awarded third base on the play which ignited a rally that led to the D’Backs 5-4 win.


Fielders Throw Glove: 5.06 (b) (4) (E)

Play No. 4

The Red Sox and Reds played at Great America Park on Sept. 24, 2017. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Reds had Adam Duvall on first base with two outs when Jackson Stephens singled on a flare to center. Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. fielded the ball and air mailed it into the Reds’ third base dugout. The umpires allowed Duvall to score because he had second base made the moment JBJ released the ball. Stephens was sent to second base because he had not yet made first base at the time the ball was released by the Red Sox center fielder. Sox third baseman Rafael Devers tossed his glove at the ball but because there was no contact, there was no violation. If Devers made contact with the ball, the Reds’ runners would each be awarded two bases from their position on the bases at the time Devers’ glove touched the ball.

Ruleball Comment

  1. Umpires must be sure that the fielder throws the glove. There is no doubt that Devers intentionally threw his glove based on how high his glove went into the air.
  2. The penalty is not invoked against a fielder whose glove is carried off his hand by the force of a batted or throw ball, or when his glove flies off his hand as he makes an obvious effort to make a legitimate catch.

Play No. 5

The Braves hosted the Marlins on April 13, 2021.  In the bottom of the sixth inning, Austin Riley hit a shot down the first base line. Marlins’ first baseman Jesus Aguilar, in an attempt to stop the ball, threw his glove at it in an attempt to stop it. You can view the play by going to the link below.

Play No. 6

The Nationals hosted the Phils on May 13, 2021. Juan Soto was batting in the bottom of the sixth and one out when he hit a hard grounder up the middle for a base hit. Reds’ second baseman Jean Segura threw his glove at the ball and missed. In this play, the broadcaster got the proper base award.

Catchers Field Ball with Mask 5.06 (b) (3) (E)

Play No. 7

The Royals and Red Sox played at Fenway on May 1, 2018. In the top of the 10th inning with the score tied 3-3, the Royals had runners on first and second and two outs when Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez scooped up a Carson Smith pitch with his mask, a violation of rule 5.06 (b) (3) (E). With Lucas Duda at bat and a 1-2 count, Smith fired a pitch that bounced out of Vazquez’s mitt.  The ball then rolled behind the shin guard on his right leg where he casually picked the ball up with his mask. When plate ump Chris Conroy called “Time,” apparently seeing no further action, he awarded both runners one base, putting runners on second and third. The runners were stranded but the Sox lost the game in 13 innings, 7-6.

Play No. 8

The D’backs hosted the Giants on Aug. 3, 2021 In the bottom of the second, the D’backs had Nick Ahmed on second and Madison Bumgarner on first and two outs with Asdrubal Cabrera at bat facing Johnny Cueto. Cabrera took a first-pitch changeup in the dirt that Giants’ catcher Curt Casali blocked. He then took off his catcher’s mask and used it to stop the ball which is illegal. Home plate umpire Chris Guccione awarded both runners one base. Cabrera capitalized on the miscue two pitches later, lining a two-run double to right field to extend the D-backs’ lead to 3-0 in a game they won, 3-1

Ruleball Comment

 When the catcher uses detached equipment to field a pitched ball, the award is one base from the position of the runner/s at the moment the ball was touched.  The ball remains in play until there is no further action.

Play No. 9

Outfielder Throws Glove at Batted Ball that is about to go over the Wall for a Home Run: I often get the following question, what is the rule if an outfielder flings his glove at a batted ball that is about to go over the wall for a home run? If that should happen, the batter is credited with a home run. Rule 5.06 (b) (4) (A) reads, “Each runner, including the batter-runner may, without liability to be put out advance to home base…if a fair ball which, in the umpire’s judgment, would have gone out of the playing field in flight, is deflected by the act of a fielder in throwing his glove, cap, or any article of his apparel.”


Rich Marazzi

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

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