June 19, 2023

Tatis Jr. Apparently Fails to Retouch First Base

Did Fernando Tatis Jr. violate the retouch rule?

Tatis Jr. Apparently Fails to Retouch First Base

The Padres and Rockies played at Coors Field on June 11, 2023. In the top of the third inning, Fernando Tatis Jr. was on first base when Rockies’ pitcher Dinelson Lamet attempted to pick him off. The throw got by first baseman Elehuris Montero. Tatis went back to the base standing, and it appeared that before he took off for second, his momentum had carried him past first base into foul ground. He then appeared to step to the outfield side of first base (not making contact with the base) as he redirected toward second, apparently never touching first base. He ended up on third base.

Did Tatis Jr. violate the retouch rule?

Ruleball Comments

  1. Although not conclusive, Tatis Jr. most likely violated rule 5.09 (c) (2) that reads, “any runner shall be called out on appeal when with the ball in play, while advancing or returning to a base, he fails to touch each base in order before he, or a missed base is tagged. “
  2. It’s possible Tatis scraped the right field side of the base but if I had to bet, he did not. The situation certainly deserved an appeal by the Rockies and if necessary, a challenge.
  3. Just as in any other base, if a runner disengages first base, he must retouch the base. 
  4. The bases must be run in proper order.
  5. In my opinion, the Rockies fell asleep on this one. They should have appealed the running infraction.

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.  



A pitched ball hits the dirt prior to the batter swinging at it. When the batter swings he foul tips the pitch from the dirt and the foul tip goes directly into the catcher’s mitt.

If this was strike 3 and they were two outs or there was no runner on first base is the batter not out and still eligible to run to first base?

Dave Johnson

A pitch that hits the dirt can never be a caught strike, regardless of how, why or when it becomes a strike.

Dave Johnson

Are we sure you can retreat behind 1st base? As far as I know it’s not possible to “unattain” first base, therefore there’s no need to re-touch it in order attain it again. To my understanding, only 2nd base and 3rd base can be “unattained” by retreating back towards the prior base.
I welcome an improvement to my understanding.

Have a question or comment for one of our experts?

Don't strike out!

Become a part of the largest baseball rules community in the world!

Get free access to baseball forums, rules analysis and exclusive email content from current and former Major League Baseball players and umpires.